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Graviton waves

Posted February 12, 2016 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

That's what Starfleet calls them, so that's what they are.

Nice story in The New Yorker about how we captured them and made them our slaves*.

Just over a billion years ago, many millions of galaxies from here, a pair of black holes collided. They had been circling each other for aeons, in a sort of mating dance, gathering pace with each orbit, hurtling closer and closer. By the time they were a few hundred miles apart, they were whipping around at nearly the speed of light, releasing great shudders of gravitational energy. Space and time became distorted, like water at a rolling boil. In the fraction of a second that it took for the black holes to finally merge, they radiated a hundred times more energy than all the stars in the universe combined. They formed a new black hole, sixty-two times as heavy as our sun and almost as wide across as the state of Maine. As it smoothed itself out, assuming the shape of a slightly flattened sphere, a few last quivers of energy escaped. Then space and time became silent again.

*OK. We may not have actually enslaved them yet, but that day is coming, you arrogant gravitons.

20 Responses to ‘Graviton waves’

WarDog mutters...

Posted February 12, 2016
This is the greatest piece of news this century and will be until our AI overloads finally announce themselves.

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GhostSwirv mutters...

Posted February 12, 2016
Graviton Waves are the best kinda waves ... reminding me of an awesome galactic curl introducing a mega-Hawaii Five-O.

If this discovery is truly going to herald in a new beginning of space-travel and if Elon Musk can monetise gravitons the same way he's made money from silent wheels we need to decide early on what measurement of speed we are going to use.

The Gravitational Wave-Hunters of Drago, Weiss, Reitze, Kalogera and Effler all could lay claim to having a unit of speed named after them, well maybe not Weiss, but for my money I'd like to hear a future Captain Kirk order a future Lt. Sulu to pour on the glissandos when going to graviton speed.

Does this discovery now mean that Interstellar has to be re-classified from Science Fiction to Science Documentary and could Matthew McConaughey lay claim to calling a unit of gravitons a 'Coop'?

What I truly hope is that the LIGO detector turns its instruments onto the CSIRO to try and find some missing funding to keep our scientists involved in this development from disappearing down an Oz-based Black Hole ... good thing Banannabee is such a fan of space exploration science ... oh no wait, that's only the specious based science of a coal mine?

Barnesm puts forth...

Posted February 13, 2016
Keep your goddman Matthew (Intersettler) McConaughey away from these gravity waves, he'll get feels all over them.

GhostSwirv asserts...

Posted February 13, 2016
They're powering his Lincoln.

JG swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 15, 2016
The exciting discovery of colliding black holes producing sound waves from millions of years ago will totally revolutionise space research. I hope greater investment in Australian science research (including climate change research) eventuates. GhostSwirv, here's a bit about the CSIRO axings in today's Brisbane Times: http://m.brisbanetimes.com.au/technology/sci-tech/csiro-hailed-contribution-to-gravitation-waves-find--for-work-done-by-axed-unit-20160214-gmtmhu.html
Joanna

Barnesm puts forth...

Posted February 16, 2016
well no doubt the government thinks the question of gravition waves is 'settled'. probably want them reassigned to some other cutting edge research, like clean coal, or steel smelting.

GhostSwirv puts forth...

Posted February 16, 2016
Thanks JG - after reading the article I have to remind my optimistic self that the reality of current RWNJ (non)-thinking is always worse than we can possibly imagine.

Here's hoping some sacked CSIRO types get together in someone's parent's garage and dreams up a patent for a propulsion system utilising graviton waves, dark matter, dark chocolate and dark energy - and make sure non of the royalties flow back to the current Feds, to fund the copper, (might as well be broad-bean) broadband.

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 16, 2016
I believe Harry Harrison's titular heroes used a cheese matrix rather than chocolate.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted February 16, 2016
I distantly recall something called a "cheddite projector." Star Smashers of The Galaxy Rangers?

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insomniac puts forth...

Posted February 12, 2016
Still not exciting enough for ms insomniac to care about space. This is what I am up against.

NBlob would have you know...

Posted February 12, 2016
Do ms Insoniac & SWMBO belong to some secret sisterhood of space haters?

insomniac has opinions thus...

Posted February 12, 2016
Perhaps so, but my issues go way beyond space. Science fiction, vampires, zombies, vampire zombies, fun. You name it, she's agin it.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted February 12, 2016
To be fair SWMBO isn't agin everything. She likes ice cream.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted February 13, 2016
I readily admit hating space. It is unnecessarily big.

insomniac asserts...

Posted February 13, 2016
How big or small would space have to be for you to like it?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted February 14, 2016
I'm not picky. I just want something more convenient.

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BigWillieStyle asserts...

Posted February 12, 2016
God totally invented those graviton waves.

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Barnesm mumbles...

Posted February 13, 2016
yeah that's just what Big Gravity want you to think. Wake up sheeple.

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Squid puts forth...

Posted February 13, 2016
Nice story. I believe black holes have trouble finding anyone to get along with.

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Shifty Tourist puts forth...

Posted February 15, 2016
"Of all the extremely precise gravitational-wave observatories, in all the world, it had to wander into mine"

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