Detecting gravity waves

The first news 11 Feb 2016:

NASA image (above) explained [link]

Nature news [link]

What was detected and how this was detected [video link]

Physics Today story Apr 2016 [link]

The LIGO timeline shows that the detection came after an upgrade greatly increasing the reliability and sensitivity of the detector. Ever reducing error by replications using measurements ever more reliable and ever more sensitive is a hallmark of trustworthy science working best.

LIGO timeline [link]

The LIGO timeline also shows that the work is shared by an ever growing and ever more diverse LIGO Scientific Colaboration. Sharing among persons having diverse points of view and diverse skills sets is how trustworthy science works best. We do not often enough share among persons having diverse points of view and diverse skills sets. Here we have much work to do.

LIGO Scientific Colaboration [link].

"News media" (as they call themselves) are presenting detection of gravity waves as a revolution in science. This detection is important but not a revolution. We expected gravity waves to exist, which is why we built very expensive detectors. We would not have been surprised if we continued to fail to detect. It is a happy surprise that we did detect.

This detection of gravity waves is a milestone in reliable and sensitive measurement. The detector must be super sensitive to see tiny changes in paths of light. This sensitivity means that spurious tiny vibrations from all sorts of causes also can be detected. Errors from this spurious noise must be minimized for the detector to be reliable. If we can repeat and improve this detection we will have new means for exploring.

Part of the entertainment value so important to "news media" is the "was Einstein correct" angle. They forget that roots of this angle are the label "Jewish science" branded onto Einstein by German anti-Judaism. Another part of the entertainment value is that "revolutions" are more fun than reliable and sensitive measurement.

Detection of gravity waves is the latest episode in a revolution in science which was announced 07 Nov 1919 [link].

Second gravity wave detected by LIGO [link]
Barry Barish on gravity waves [link]
Sheila Rowan catching gravity waves [link]
LISA Pathfinder exceeds expectations [link]