How are Gravitational Waves Formed? Download PDF | PPT

Gravitational waves are propagating fluctuations of gravitational fields, that is, ”ripples” in spacetime, generated mainly by moving massive bodies. These distortions of spacetime travel with the speed of light. Everybody in the path of such a wave feels a tidal gravitational force that acts perpendicular to the direction of the wave of propagation; these forces change the distance between points, and the size of the changes is proportional to the distance between the points.
Gravitational Waves
Einstein’s theory stated that objects cause the fabric of space-time around them to curve. Moving objects should, therefore, create ripples in space-time. Einstein predicted that the more massive the object, the larger the waves it would create.

Sources of gravitational waves

Any object with mass that accelerates produces gravitational waves, including humans and cars and airplanes, etc. Example: The universe is filed with incredibly massive objects that undergo rapid accelerations (things like black holes, neutron stars, and stars at the ends of their lives), the gravitational waves produced by these objects can be detected.

Types of gravitational waves

  • Continuous Gravitational Waves
  • Compact Binary Inspiral Gravitational Waves
  • Stochastic Gravitational Waves
  • Burst Gravitational Waves

Detection of Gravitational waves

  • Discovery: Gravitational waves were detected on 11th Feb 2016.
  • Detection of gravitational waves has been carried out successfully by LIGO.
  • Advanced LIGO detector: The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is a large-scale physics experiment and observatory to detect cosmic gravitational waves and to develop gravitational-wave observations as an astronomical tool.

Goals of LIGO

  • Prove the existence of gravitational waves by direct measurements.
  • Confirm that gravitational waves travel at the speed of light.
  • Verify that gravitational waves cause disturbances of predicted amounts in the matter they pass through.
  • Learn more about black holes by proving their existence and studying their behavior.
  • Gain other knowledge about the universe including more information about supernovae and the big bang.

Scientists can detect a black hole using gravitational waves and how fast a black hole is spinning. The gravitational waves emitted from each binary system have characteristic frequencies and amplitudes. These characteristics depend on the properties of the system (mass, orbital period, etc)

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