A team of international scientists, including researchers from The Australian National University (ANU), have unveiled the largest number of gravitational waves ever detected.
The discoveries will help solve some of the most complex mysteries of the Universe, including the building blocks of matter and the workings of space and time.
The global team’s study, published on ArXiv, made 35 new detection’s of gravitational waves caused by pairs of black holes merging or neutron stars and black holes smashing together, using the LIGO and Virgo observatories between November 2019 and March 2020.
This brings the total number of detection’s to 90 after three observing runs between 2015 and 2020. The new detection’s are from massive cosmic events, most of them billions of light-years away, which hurl ripples through space-time.
They include 32 black hole pairs merging, and likely three collisions between neutron stars and black holes.
ANU is one of the key players in the international team making the observations and developing the sophisticated technology to hunt down elusive gravitational waves across the vast expanse of the Universe.
Distinguished Professor Susan Scott, from the ANU Center for Gravitational Astrophysics, said the latest discoveries represented “a tsunami” and were a major leap forward in our quest to unlock the secrets of the Universe’s evolution.
Scott, who is also a Chief Investigator of the ARC Center of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav), said the continual improvement of gravitational wave detector sensitivity was helping drive an increase in detection’s.
This new technology is allowing us to observe more gravitational waves than ever before. We are also probing the two black hole mass gap regions and providing more tests of Einstein’s theory of general relativity.
The other really exciting thing about the constant improvement of the sensitivity of the gravitational wave detectors is that this will then bring into play a whole new range of sources of gravitational waves, some of which will be unexpected
NSpirement / Australian National University / Crickey Conservation Society 2023.
We are just beginning to understand tiny bits of our surroundings and Universe?
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