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# LIGO, JPNurre

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### LIGO, JPNurre

1. 1. This is a standard way to think of gravity: These two directions represent a cross- section in space This dimension represents the intensity of gravity. In 1916 Einstein theorized that mass warps space, like a heavy ball warps a sheet of rubber. That’s why this picture is often used. If the mass shifts, the warping follows, but can’t move faster than “c” (the speed of light). (There’s a heavy object here)
2. 2. A classic illustration (perfect for kids) A ball rolling past a gravity “well” will be bent towards it. I vividly remember seeing this demonstration, at The Museum of Science and Industry, over by the Coliseum. It’s the kind of thing that is analytically sophisticated, yet visually sticks in a kid’s brain. I bet it’s still there.
3. 3. Now’s the start:
4. 4. Now the mass is moving
5. 5. The mass is moving quickly, and the gravity field is lagging a little.
6. 6. Now the mass has stopped moving This is the start of a gravity wave. Watch…
7. 7. The mass isn’t moving anymore, but its “gravity wave” continues to radiate outward, like ripples on a pond.
8. 8. Just like a wave in water, the farther the wave goes, the weaker it is. That’s why LIGO needs very sensitive instruments
9. 9. If an object were oscillating back and forth, waves would radiate outward … but this doesn’t happen easily (if at all) But it is common for two heavy objects to rotate around each other This will also create radiating gravity waves, and that’s the kind of thing LIGO is looking for.
10. 10. Thoughts on LIGO: The sequence of this package could be animated with better-quality analysis software (giving smoother transitions) The same method should allow modeling of the spiral model I showed It should look something like the waves left by two boats as they spin around each other. BTW, prediction of this phenomenon won a couple of guys the Nobel Prize recently.
11. 11. You should know this too: According to Einstein, gravity is a warping of space, and the warping of space is gravity. Gravity and space do not occur as two different things (that’s what Newton thought) …the are basically the same thing. Mass (what stuff is made out of) has “gravity”… more properly, it warps space. Oh, and… this space-warping is tied to mass, but not to light. Scientists have been finding evidence for this warping effect over the last 50 years. But there’s still a long way to go. What LIGO measures is not “gravity” the way we’re used to thinking about it. LIGO is a set of huge “yardsticks” that are constantly calibrated by light. If/when a gravity wave passes, the yardstick (made out of stuff) will be distorted, and the light beam (which is not made out of stuff) can measure this distortion.