Gravitational waves are distortions or ‘ripples’ in the fabric of space-time caused by some of the most violent and energetic processes in the Universe.
Einstein’s mathematics showed that massive accelerating objects (such as neutron stars or black holes orbiting each other) would disrupt space-time in such a way that ‘waves’ of distorted space would radiate from the source. Furthermore, these ripples would travel at the speed of light through the Universe, carrying with them information about their cataclysmic origins, as well as invaluable clues to the nature of gravity itself.
Why Detect Them?
The gravitational waves that are detectible by LIGO will be caused by some of the most energetic events in the Universe—colliding black holes, exploding stars, and even the birth of the Universe itself. Detecting and analyzing the information carried by gravitational waves will allow us to observe the Universe in a way never before possible. This will open up a new window of study on the Universe, giving us a deeper understanding of these cataclysmic events, and usher in brand new cutting-edge studies in physics, astronomy, and astrophysics.
Role of Indian Scientists in discovery of G waves.
The contribution can be seen by the references that the detection paper has. It involves whole lot of people known as INDIGO consortium in India who are working towards this endeavour and out of this 61 people belong to LIGO science collaboration.
The detection paper had 37 authors in its list and it is a huge collaboration of scientists from all over the world.
What are the major areas in which the Indian impact has been largest?
In 1991 a paper by Satyaprakash and Durendar laid out the methods as to of how to go about searching for waves in a revolving black holes when they come around. This has been one of the remarkable achievements because the gravitational signal is so weak that even when the detector is made sensitive the signal is hardly detectable. Indian scientists laid down efficient methods to extract these signals from various signal processing scheme within in a pre defined parameter space.
One other scientist Bala Iyer and his consortium actually calculated the wave form in the form of series as there is no two body analytic solution in general relativity which makes the calculation of G waves difficult. The consortium was involved in approximating the solution and obtaining the series.
And another early contribution was Ring down and oscillation of the black hole that is evident in the detection. This was first predicted by CB Vishweshwara.
India is also working to have its own detector under the consortium known as INDIGO. However the successful completion and discovery of G waves from Indian consortium needs cooperation from all across the world as it cannot be done by a single nation due to technical issues.
It is good to have a detector far away from LIGO detector, as it helps to get a huge base line for triangulation purposes. INDIA and USA has a huge base line of 39 mille second so it is possible to triangulate sources and fix the localisation of source which helps to get the signal in a better form than at present.
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