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Gravitational waves

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Displaying 1 - 12 of 12 news clips related to this topic.

National Public Radio (NPR)

NPR’s Nell Greenfieldboyce spotlights how LIGO has helped to usher in a “big astronomy revolution” that is allowing scientists to listen to the universe. “The exciting thing is when you've got a new instrument, you know, a brand-new way of looking at things,” says Greenfieldboyce, “you don't know what you might detect that you never even thought of because until now, you just weren't able to look at the universe in this way.”

Popular Mechanics

Researchers from MIT and other institutions have been able to observationally confirm one of Stephen Hawking’s theorems about black holes, measuring gravitational waves before and after a black hole merger to provide evidence that a black hole’s event horizon can never shrink, reports Caroline Delbert for Popular Mechanics. “This cool analysis doesn't just show an example of Hawking's theorem that underpins one of the central laws affecting black holes,” writes Delbert, “it shows how analyzing gravitational wave patterns can bear out statistical findings.”


Prof. Nergis Mavalvala, Dean of the School of Science, speaks with Becky Ferreira of Motherboard’s “Space Show” about LIGO’s 2015 discovery of gravitational waves and what researchers in the field have learned since then. “Every one of these observations tells us a little bit more about how nature has assembled our universe,” says Mavalvala. “Really, in the end, the question we're asking is: ‘How did this universe that we observe come about?”

CBS Boston

Boston 25 spotlights how scientists from LIGO and Virgo have detected what may be the most massive black hole collision yet. “The result of the black holes colliding created the first-ever observed intermediate black hole, at 142 times the mass of the sun,” reports Boston 25.

Quanta Magazine

Quanta Magazine reporter Thomas Lewton writes that a new study co-authored by Prof. Frank Wilczek explores how gravitons may create “noise” that could be identified by gravitational wave detectors. “There’s a kind of default consensus that it’s a waste of time to think about quantum effects and gravitational radiation,” said Wilczek. “There’s nothing like actual experimental results to focus the attention.”

Popular Science

Popular Science namesAdvanced LIGO by MIT and CalTech (2016)” as one of the 20 best tech discoveries of the last decade. “LIGO has captivated people the world over, making them curious about esoteric subjects like the nature of space and origin of, well, everything.”

The Atlantic

Marina Koren writes for The Atlantic about the continued importance of the discoveries that stem from the LIGO and Virgo laser experiments. “There is something called the gravitational-wave memory effect…that comes out of Einstein’s theory of relativity, but it would be nice to see that directly,” says Salvatore Vitale, a physics professor at MIT and a LIGO scientist.


Sky and Telescope editor Monica Young speaks with WBUR about how scientists from the LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave observatories, including MIT researchers, may have detected a black hole colliding with a neutron star. Young explains that upgrades made to both observatories should enable investigation of not only individual cosmic events, but also the study of neutron stars and black holes as populations.


Adrian Cho of Science magazine writes that the possible black hole-neutron star merger spotted by LIGO and Virgo would be a “gem for scientists,” but work remains to confirm the signal. Prof. Salvatore Vitale, a LIGO member from MIT, tells Cho: “If you ask me, ‘Would you bet a coffee, your car, or your house on this?’ I would say, ‘I’d bet your car.’”


Gizmodo reporter Ryan Mandelbaum explores the five potential gravitational wave detections made by the LIGO and Virgo observatories in the last month. Prof. Salvatore Vitale explained that the possible detection of a black hole colliding with a neutron star could provide scientists with a better way to measure how quickly the universe is expanding.

Ars Technica

“LIGO/VIRGO has opened up its notification process to the public,” explains Ars Technica reporter John Zimmer. “In short, anyone who’s interested can find out what LIGO is seeing within a day of when the LIGO scientists themselves do.”

The LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave detectors have identified five new cosmic events since resuming operations last month, reports Sarah Lewin for “The most exciting thing of the beginning of O3 [this third observation round] is that it's clear we are going from one event every few months to a few events every month," explains Prof. Salvatore Vitale.