Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Computer Simulations Predict What Astronomers Will "See" With Gravitational Wave Telescopes When Two Black Holes Collide

Date:
September 19, 2001
Source:
Max Planck Society
Summary:
The merging of two black holes is one of the strangest occurrences expected in modern astronomy. Now physicists using the world's biggest computers have shown astronomers what to look for and have brought the first observations of these events much closer.

The merging of two black holes is one of the strangest occurrences expected in modern astronomy. Now physicists using the world's biggest computers have shown astronomers what to look for and have brought the first observations of these events much closer.

In a paper that is to appear in Physical Review Letters on Sept. 17, 2001, a team of young researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute in Golm, near Potsdam and Berlin, Germany) has predicted the gravitational waves that should be emitted when black holes plunge towards each other and merge. The team consists of John Baker (now at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in the USA), Bernd Brόgmann, Manuela Campanelli, Carlos Lousto, and Ryoji Takahashi. They call themselves the Lazarus Team.

The most important result of the Lazarus simulations will be to provide gravitational wave astronomers with a set of templates which they can use to recognize the signals in the noise at the output of their detectors. The Lazarus simulations make predictions that are more detailed and more reliable than any before. The Lazarus scientists expect the gravitational waves to be stronger than previously accepted estimates.

Bernard Schutz, one of the directors of the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, observes: "The success of the Lazarus Project at the AEI comes at just the right time. Black hole mergers could provide the first-ever detections, which will be a landmark for Einstein's theory of general relativity. Numerically computed gravitational wave-forms will not only help us to detect and recognize waves from these events, but will help us to deduce from the observations the masses of the holes and their distance from us. Black hole mergers emit no light, radio waves, or X-rays. We can only detect them by catching their gravitational waves."

Previous simulations have not been able to follow the black holes through the whole merger event. Deep inside a black hole lurks a "singularity", a place where gravity gets huge. Computer simulations have had difficulty modelling the waves outside the hole at the same time as the inside.

The key advance by the Lazarus team at the AEI came when they combined two approaches, full numerical simulation for the essentially strong-field regime of the collision and an approximation method, perturbation theory, for computing the radiation from the resulting distorted single black hole. They cut off the full simulation before it went bad, and then used a different method that looked only at the gravitational waves outside the merged hole. Computers again had to calculate this radiation, but they could avoid the problems caused by looking inside the holes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Max Planck Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Max Planck Society. "Computer Simulations Predict What Astronomers Will "See" With Gravitational Wave Telescopes When Two Black Holes Collide." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 September 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/09/010919074007.htm>.
Max Planck Society. (2001, September 19). Computer Simulations Predict What Astronomers Will "See" With Gravitational Wave Telescopes When Two Black Holes Collide. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/09/010919074007.htm
Max Planck Society. "Computer Simulations Predict What Astronomers Will "See" With Gravitational Wave Telescopes When Two Black Holes Collide." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/09/010919074007.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Experiment Tests Whether Universe Is Actually A Hologram

Experiment Tests Whether Universe Is Actually A Hologram

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) — Researchers at Fermilab are using a device called "The Holometer" to test whether our universe is actually a 2-D hologram that just seems 3-D. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

Newsy (Aug. 23, 2014) — The private spaceflight company says it is preparing a thorough investigation into Friday's mishap. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — Russian cosmonauts say they've found evidence of sea plankton on the International Space Station's windows. NASA is a little more skeptical. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space to Ground: Hello Georges

Space to Ground: Hello Georges

NASA (Aug. 18, 2014) — Europe's ATV-5 delivers new science and the crew tests smart SPHERES. Questions or comments? Use #spacetoground to talk to us. Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins