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Gravitational waves: A new field for electronics, Part 3

The discovery of gravitational waves is a confirmation of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity which accurately explains the structure of the universe (see Figure 1):

“A team of scientists announced on Thursday that they had heard and recorded the sound of two black holes colliding a billion light-years away, a fleeting chirp that fulfilled the last prediction of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. That faint rising tone, physicists say, is the first direct evidence of gravitational waves, the ripples in the fabric of space-time that Einstein predicted a century ago….It completes his vision of a universe in which space and time are interwoven and dynamic, able to stretch, shrink and jiggle. And it is a ringing confirmation of the nature of black holes, the bottomless gravitational pits from which not even light can escape, which were the most foreboding (and unwelcome) part of his theory.” (Source: article published on FEBRUARY 11 2016 on the The New York Times)

Figure 1

Gravitational waves may represent a new era of Astronomy (Source: YouTube).

Gravitational waves may represent a new era of Astronomy (Source: YouTube).

The existence of gravitational waves has been recorded by means of detection of its sounds by the detectors of LIGO (see Figure 2):

“On September 14, 2015 at 5:51 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (09:51 UTC), the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington, USA both measured ripples in the fabric of space-time – gravitational waves – arriving at the Earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. The new Advanced LIGO detectors had just been brought into operation for their first observing run when the very clear and strong signal was captured.” (Source: LIGO)

Figure 2

The signals detected by the gravitational waves detectors of LIGO in Hanford Washington and Livingston Louisiana.
(Source: Detection | LIGO Lab | Caltech)

The signals detected by the gravitational waves detectors of LIGO in Hanford Washington and Livingston Louisiana. (Source: Detection | LIGO Lab | Caltech)

Detection of the vibrational waves could help scientists to deeper explain the structure of the Universe. This type of physical phenomenon might indeed help researchers to map the so-called “black holes”, which represent one of the most relevant energetic events in open space. Vibrational waves can be seen as a type of vibration, each vibration can be associated with the so-called resonant frequency and the resonant frequency might be measured by means of a laser and some LEDs. The laser pointer might be realized by means of integrated electronics components, thus electronics plays an important role in the realization of the instruments utilized in the laboratory as a part of interferometers (see Figure 3). This is not unique usage of laser technology in the astronomical laboratories; as I wrote in the Gravitational waves: A new field for electronics, Part 1 in this blog series, the laser beam is used in LIGO observatories to measure the deformation of the space of a tunnel due to the presence of a gravitational wave, that is indeed a modification of the space time structure.

Figure 3

The dissection of a green laser pointer (Source: repairfaq.org)

The dissection of a green laser pointer (Source: repairfaq.org)

Moreover, red laser pointers are a solution widely adopted in electronics and sometimes this type of laser is less complex to realize than a green laser pointer (see Figure 4):

Figure 4

The comparison of layout of a green laser pointer and a red laser pointer shows a lower complexity for the red solution (Source: repairfaq.org)

The comparison of layout of a green laser pointer and a red laser pointer shows a lower complexity for the red solution (Source: repairfaq.org)

Gravitational waves are more common than we experience because the universe has plenty of energetic collisions between gravitational masses, and some scientists think that even our bodies are often crossed by this type of “space-time vibration” that modifies the dimensions of our own bodies continuously. The intensity of the waves is so low that it has not been recorded or revealed. Until now. A new era of astronomic discoveries has opened. What do you think about the new possibilities for deeper understanding of the structure of the universe? Do you think that electronics technology may help this process?

2 comments on “Gravitational waves: A new field for electronics, Part 3

  1. Victor Lorenzo
    May 30, 2017

    What do you think about the new possibilities for deeper understanding of the structure of the universe? LIGO is an interesting piece of engineering work, that's a fact. But the rest is too far away from our real problems on Planet Earth.

    Do you think that electronics technology may help this process? Maybe yes, or maybe not, that depends on what you want to observe.

    This might be of interest for others: Sam's Laser FAQ at http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/laserlia.htm#liatoc, (Samuel M. Goldwasser).

  2. UdyRegan
    September 17, 2018

    This is really so fascinating but I think that a lot of aspects regarding these new findings are too technical for regular people like me to appreciate unless it's dumbed down significantly! I mean I'm sure that finding out about these gravitational waves has some major implications on how the world or even the universe functions, but people would not be able to appreciate until we are told in simple words how this is going to affect us.

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