The detection of gravitational waves – a triumph of science enabled by fossil fuels

Last week, the science world was abuzz with the news that gravitational waves had been discovered thanks to the LIGO project and the team of international scientists that made it possible. At WUWT, I covered the story here, saying that it was a “triumph of science”. Indeed it was, and still is, and the effects of this discovery on science will ripple into the future for decades and centuries to come.

I woke in the middle of the night as I sometimes do, for no particular reason except that my brain doesn’t always cooperate with my body when it comes time to sleep, and the LIGO project was on my mind, partly due to an email I got from a fellow who wanted to tell me about a colleague in China who was talking about Gravitons and the LIGO announcement here. It got me was thinking about how wonderful it was that we could detect a gravitational wave from the merging of two black holes 1.3 billion years ago:

A computer simulation shows the collision of two black holes, a tremendously powerful event detected for the first time ever by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO. LIGO detected gravitational waves, or ripples in space and time generated as the black holes spiraled in toward each other, collided, and merged. This simulation shows how the merger would appear to our eyes if we could somehow travel in a spaceship for a closer look. It was created by solving equations from Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity using the LIGO data.

The two merging black holes are each roughly 30 times the mass of the sun, with one slightly larger than the other. Time has been slowed down by a factor of about 100. The event took place 1.3 billion years ago.

The stars appear warped due to the incredibly strong gravity of the black holes. The black holes warp space and time, and this causes light from the stars to curve around the black holes in a process called gravitational lensing. The ring around the black holes, known as an Einstein ring, arises from the light of all the stars in a small region behind the holes, where gravitational lensing has smeared their images into a ring.

The gravitational waves themselves would not be seen by a human near the black holes and so do not show in this video, with one important exception. The gravitational waves that are traveling outward toward the small region behind the black holes disturb that region’s stellar images in the Einstein ring, causing them to slosh around, even long after the collision. The gravitational waves traveling in other directions cause weaker, and shorter-lived sloshing, everywhere outside the ring.

Wikipedia’a article on LIGO notes that on 11 February 2016, the LIGO and Virgo collaborations announced the first observation of a gravitational wave.The signal was named GW150914.The waveform showed up on 14 September 2015, within just two days of when the Advanced LIGO detectors started collecting data after their upgrade. It matched the predictions of general relativity for the inward spiral and merger of a pair of black holesand subsequent ‘ringdown’ of the resulting single black hole. The observations demonstrated the existence of binary stellar-mass black hole systems and the first observation of a binary black hole merger.

Image Credit: Caltech/MIT/LIGO Lab These plots show the signals of gravitational waves detected by the twin LIGO observatories at Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington. The signals came from two merging black holes, each about 30 times the mass of our sun, lying 1.3 billion light-years away. The top two plots show data received at Livingston and Hanford, along with the predicted shapes for the waveform. These predicted waveforms show what two merging black holes should look like according to the equations of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, along with the instrument's ever-present noise. Time is plotted on the X-axis and strain on the Y-axis. Strain represents the fractional amount by which distances are distorted. As the plots reveal, the LIGO data very closely match Einstein's predictions. The final plot compares data from both detectors. The Hanford data have been inverted for comparison, due to the differences in orientation of the detectors at the two sites. The data were also shifted to correct for the travel time of the gravitational-wave signals between Livingston and Hanford (the signal first reached Livingston, and then, traveling at the speed of light, reached Hanford seven thousandths of a second later). As the plot demonstrates, both detectors witnessed the same event, confirming the detection.
Image Credit: Caltech/MIT/LIGO Lab
These plots show the signals of gravitational waves detected by the twin LIGO observatories at Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington. The signals came from two merging black holes, each about 30 times the mass of our sun, lying 1.3 billion light-years away. The top two plots show data received at Livingston and Hanford, along with the predicted shapes for the waveform. These predicted waveforms show what two merging black holes should look like according to the equations of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, along with the instrument’s ever-present noise. Time is plotted on the X-axis and strain on the Y-axis. Strain represents the fractional amount by which distances are distorted. As the plots reveal, the LIGO data very closely match Einstein’s predictions. The final plot compares data from both detectors. The Hanford data have been inverted for comparison, due to the differences in orientation of the detectors at the two sites. The data were also shifted to correct for the travel time of the gravitational-wave signals between Livingston and Hanford (the signal first reached Livingston, and then, traveling at the speed of light, reached Hanford seven thousandths of a second later). As the plot demonstrates, both detectors witnessed the same event, confirming the detection.

This is indeed a wonderful and marvelous thing, as is the dual LIGO observatory itself; one in Hanford, WA and the other in Livingston, LA, two identical observatories separated by 3,002 kilometers (1,865 miles) so that this distance corresponds to a difference in gravitational wave arrival times of up to ten milliseconds, making it possible to do triangulation to determine an approximate location.

LIGO-both_aerial
LIGO observatories, left, Hanford, WA, right Livingston, LA

Wikipedia also had this note about the facility and it’s history:

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is a large-scale physics experiment and observatory to detect gravitational waves. Cofounded in 1992 by Kip Thorne and Ronald Drever of Caltechand Rainer Weiss of MIT, LIGO is a joint project between scientists at MIT, Caltech, and many other colleges and universities. Scientists involved in the project and the analysis of the data for gravitational-wave astronomyare organised by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration which includes more than 900 scientists worldwide, as well as 44,000 active Einstein@Home users. LIGO is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), with important contributions from the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council, the Max Planck Society of Germany, and the Australian Research Council. By mid-September 2015 “the world’s largest gravitational-wave facility” completed a 5-year US$200-million overhaul at a total cost of $620 million.

That’s quite an endeavor, combining global collaboration, two large nearly identical facilities, and decades of research and construction. It struck me that it wasn’t just human energy that went into making LIGO a reality, but scads of real energy, to support design, construction, and operation of LIGO over that time.

Speaking of construction, here’s a photo from 2011, showing what looks to be a vacuum vessel being offloaded from a semi truck by a portable crane truck. Obviously, the vessel was built elsewhere and trucked in, and you can say that about essentially every aspect of the two observatories, as there was nothing but barren land in their place before.

Workers prepare to install equipment at the LIGO facility in Hanford, Washington, in 2011.
Workers prepare to install equipment at the LIGO facility in Hanford, Washington, in 2011.

It looks like one of these units:

ligo-vaccum-equip

Imagine the energy involved, not just in construction and transportation to the site by truck, but in maintaining a near perfect vacuum in the 4KM dual legs of the observatory, such as the one seen below:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Northern leg of LIGO interferometer at Hanford, WA

The amount of power needed is substantial, and it must be clean and non-intermittent as this internal newsletter for the Livingston site suggests:

One of the challenges of our rural location is the availability of clean and stable electrical power. Initially we found our electrical supply experienced some instabilities. This prevented the proper operation of the air conditioning system and some of the vacuum pumps. As mentioned in Cecil Franklin’s article above, the local power company which supplies the observatory, DEMCO, has completed construction of a separate substation dedicated solely for LIGO use. This feature has dramatically improved the quality of electrical power and all electrical systems are now operational. In addition, this improvement significantly reduced power outages due to thunder and lightning storms. Thank you, DEMCO!

Imagine if the power goes out. How long would it take to re-establish the vacuum in that facility?

A quick look at DEMCO Electrical COOP in Louisiana says they use coal-fired power plants, such as:

The coal-fired Big Cajun Power Plant located in Pointe Coupee Parish was built jointly by Louisiana’s electric cooperatives in the 1970s to provide wholesale electrical power to cooperative members across the state. Today, the facility is owned by Louisiana Generating, a subsidiary of NRG Energy.

And, a plot of power generation sources in Louisiana suggests that fossil fuel (coal and gas) and nuclear power make up the lion’s share of power generation in the state:

LA-power-generation

For the Hanford LIGO site, the Washington state power generation balance is different, using more hydro than coal or gas:

WA-power-generation

The point here is that LIGO couldn’t operate without a stable power supply, and couldn’t run on a power grid fed primarily on solar or wind, but instead uses the most hated power generation methods of environmentalists; coal, gas, nuclear, and hydro. Try doing this sort of science with intermittent solar and wind power – you can’t.

This need for stable power to run LIGO may have been a factor as to why the Pasadena, CA based California Institute of Technology chose to put observatories outside of California, where the vagaries of wind and sunshine wouldn’t affect the grid, and they wouldn’t have to worry about environmental political issues as much.

And it seems, the LIGO staff are big fossil fuel enthusiasts themselves, where in Hanford, they have a hot-rod club at the Lab:

LIGO_hot-rods

Don’t tell the EPA.

 

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February 17, 2016 2:53 am

How does one distinguish a supply of CLEAN electrical power from a supply of DIRTY electrical power-assuming both are reliable?

Reply to  David Whitehead
February 17, 2016 3:12 am

I could be wrong, but I don’t think “clean electrical power” in this context means what you think it does. I think it refers to a stable voltage and amperage without a lot of “noise” or fluctuation. I don’t think it refers to the source of the power for the generation of the electricity being ‘clean energy’ vs. ‘dirty energy’ like in coal vs. hydro-power or whatever.

Paul Mackey
Reply to  markstoval
February 17, 2016 4:07 am

Hear hear

ShrNfr
Reply to  markstoval
February 17, 2016 6:09 am

Exactly. That sort of power is harder to get than most folks realize. When I was a runner, I would work out on my treadmill during the winter at times. I live in the Boston area, so it is not someplace where the grid is totally out of control. At almost exactly 7:30 each morning, somebody would do something that caused a power glitch and would incompletely crash the micro processor on my treadmill. The treadmill would then switch up to a 6 min. mile. You do not need that sort of stuff when you are measuring things that are best expressed in terms of the Plank length. I suspect that they have some sort of flywheel storage or such on their system anyway, but “clean” sine waves of a known constant frequency to start with are a big help.
Just do not try the LIGO in Britain. You can download the data on their grid from here: http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/download.php Yes, I know that frequency is one way that some of the grid tells other parts of the grid that they need more energy their way. But the “fur” on the frequency in GB is awful. Which makes me say that the darn Brits ought to go over to 60 Hz or higher from 50 Hz. They would lose an awful lot less energy in their transformers no matter what the energy source.

george e. smith
Reply to  markstoval
February 17, 2016 4:07 pm

Well you might be wrong anyway.
In this case, clean power means that it is ON all the time. You can go into Fry’s and buy your own AC Power cleanerupperer, to run your computer on.
So long as the AC stays on, even if perhaps it missed a cycle you can reprocess it with all solid state equipment and make it so surgically clean, that absolutely no gremlins could live on it.
If you don’t think that a cast of 1,000 engineers and scientists could figure out how to sanitize all the AC power they want to use, you probably haven’t read the paper yet.
I don’t think they left too many loose ends hanging.
Washington State is where the Grand Coulee Dam is, and the Columbia river didn’t een stop flowing during the Mt St Helens eruption.
They can just pour another thimble full of water (liquefied greenhouse gas) into the lake, and keep those big Siemens alternators phase locked to a Cesium beam atomic clock.
That part of Washington and Oregon gets a boatload of rain. It (The Columbia) hasn’t stopped flowing in any living person’s memory.
G

Art Slartibartfast
Reply to  David Whitehead
February 17, 2016 3:15 am

With clean they mean stable electrical power with a pure sine wave voltage at 60 Hz without power spikes or dips. Has nothing to do with the source of the electricity..

Leo Smith
Reply to  Art Slartibartfast
February 17, 2016 1:06 pm

50Hz please, we are British! 🙂

Katherine
Reply to  Art Slartibartfast
February 17, 2016 5:04 pm

You’re British, but the LIGO facilities are in the US. So they’d use 60 Hz.

E.M.Smith
Editor
Reply to  Art Slartibartfast
February 17, 2016 9:52 pm

“My Cray”, back when I managed a supercomputer site, used a motor generator set (three units in a gang) to turn 750 kVA 60 Hz supply into 400 Hz clean power. The large rotating mass soaking up minor glitches and the spikes not inductivly coupling.
400 Hz makes for MUCH smaller and efficient transformers, so is also used in airplanes. Were I designing a power grid today, I’d push for about a 360 Hz frequency. The power supply in the Cray was deceptively small for the power it carried. We had a roughly 20 x 20 foot water tower to dump the waste heat…
I’d expect the folks building that big a detector to know about motor gensets for power cleaning.

The Expulsive
Reply to  David Whitehead
February 17, 2016 5:52 am

As mentioned “clean” power is about ensuring that the sine wave is in phase. The problem with all power generation is the variances in the constant rotation of the devices, as well as other mechanical deficiencies such as the losses attributed to transmission and stepping power down to the desired voltage. When you bring power together on the grid from different sources and then deliver it you get phase delays which are then regulated by large conducting structures at switching stations prior to delivery. Cleaning power is one reason why so called green power can get pricey, as you have to clean power from many small generators.

Neil Jordan
Reply to  David Whitehead
February 17, 2016 7:38 am

The Smart Meter does it, filtering out the dirty electricity from coal, natural gas, nuclear, and hydro. Only the pure untainted electrons produced by solar and wind are allowed to pass through. From time to time, the utility comes by, takes out the filter, and shakes out the dirty electrons like one would shake out a vacuum cleaner bag.
(Some \sarc here, but you will have to pry it from my keyboard)

brians356
Reply to  David Whitehead
February 17, 2016 3:10 pm

They seem to have built the western portion at Hanford Reach for most of the same reasons they built the plutonium production facility there in WW II. Remote, unpopulated, vast, flat dry terrain; abundant reliable cheap hydroelectric power; abundant clean cold water.

Retired Kit P
Reply to  brians356
February 18, 2016 9:30 am

“Remote, unpopulated”
Hanford was a farm town, not unpopulated. Not flat either.

Richard G.
Reply to  brians356
February 18, 2016 11:02 am

Irony alert: Gravity Waves detected using Hydroelectricity generated using gravity.

TedM
Reply to  David Whitehead
February 17, 2016 6:44 pm

Best example of dirty power: solar grid connect. Harmonics into the Khz range.

February 17, 2016 2:56 am

No one has commented -maybe they do not understand. This cast some doubts http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com.au/2016/02/absurdity-of-modern-physics-ligo.html
As hinted, is this an attempt to get a Nobel prize equivalent to the one received by Obama?

Mindert Eiting
Reply to  cementafriend
February 17, 2016 3:26 am

As I have already commented to a former post here, I am waiting for the moment a real signal arrives from outer space that can only be caused by a black hole falling apart.

Marcus
Reply to  Mindert Eiting
February 17, 2016 4:39 am

What makes you think Black Holes fall apart ?

ferdberple
Reply to  Mindert Eiting
February 17, 2016 4:52 am

Black Holes fall apart
===========
predicted due to Hawkings Radiation.

Marcus
Reply to  Mindert Eiting
February 17, 2016 5:00 am

ferdberple, I wouldn’t consider that ” falling apart “..that would be more like VERY slowly deflating ! And if I understand Hawkings Radiation Theory correctly, the Earth itself will have disappeared in an all consuming fireball long before this will ever happen ! Time does not play nice !

Mindert Eiting
Reply to  Mindert Eiting
February 17, 2016 6:26 am

Marcus: nothing makes me think black holes fall apart. It would be absurd. What if a real signal shows during a short interval of time decreasing frequency and amplitude. That signal cannot be caused by two black holes spiraling to each other, unless we play the glossy movies (like the one above) in reversed time order. Signals with decreasing frequency and amplitude may exist.

ShrNfr
Reply to  Mindert Eiting
February 17, 2016 8:58 am

@FredBurple. That is a hypothesis that has so far not been well tested. If time-space has granularity of (say) the Plank length, then I believe his radiation falls apart. In any event, the predicted “surface temperature” of a black hole for the purposes of blackbody radiation is so low that I doubt many reasonably massive holes would have “evaporated” since the big bang.

beng135
Reply to  Mindert Eiting
February 17, 2016 10:40 am

ShrNfr, from what I know (layman but very interested), the evaporation rate (Hawkiing radiation) of stellar/supermassive BHs is so low that even the infalling background microwave photons are enough to offset it. So a “net” evaporation of those BHs won’t occur until the universe has cooled practically to absolute zero (and assuming no more mass is falling into them). So not until many, many trillions of yrs will they begin to “net” evaporate.

schitzree
Reply to  Mindert Eiting
February 17, 2016 4:09 pm

As for me, I’m still waiting for the detection of a gravity wave with a signal embedded. ○¿●

george e. smith
Reply to  Mindert Eiting
February 17, 2016 4:11 pm

In phase with what ??
g

george e. smith
Reply to  Mindert Eiting
February 17, 2016 4:15 pm

Actually I believe that ” Hawking Radiation ” is actually quantum mechanical tunneling; so nothing has to fall apart or even open and close.
It goes right through the BH wall just like magic.
Better check on that yourself; I could be wrong. I think they talk about BHs ” evaporating ” but I’m sure that assumes that nothing else ever falls into the hole.
G

ferdberple
Reply to  cementafriend
February 17, 2016 4:40 am

I would like to see a series of confirming observations before concluding that the observation was truly a gravity wave and not simply random noise (natural variability) that mimicked the prediction.
The LIGO detector recorded an event soon after it went into operation. This event matches a mathematical prediction of GR. But is this the only possible explanation for the observation?
How likely is it that the event in question would just happen to be observed soon after the detector went into operation? If the detector had observed a second event in a similar time frame, then the observation becomes more plausible.
However, if this remains a lone event, and the LIGO detector continues to operate without observing more events of a similar nature, then one would tend to believe that the signal was simply noise that co-incidentally mimicked the GR prediction.

Reply to  ferdberple
February 17, 2016 4:57 am

Several events have been observed.

ferdberple
Reply to  ferdberple
February 17, 2016 5:20 am

Several events have been observed.
================
then it is surprising that only one was presented, as one event of itself is weak evidence.

Reply to  ferdberple
February 17, 2016 7:44 am

One strong event is not ‘weak evidence”, but the other events [and all future events] will be published too.
From NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/12/science/ligo-gravitational-waves-black-holes-einstein.html :
“Shortly after the September event, LIGO recorded another, weaker signal that was probably also from black holes, the team said. According to Dr. Weiss, there were at least four detections during the first LIGO observing run, which ended in January. The second run will begin this summer. In the fall, another detector, Advanced Virgo, operated by the European Gravitational Observatory in Italy, will start up. “

Jay Hope
Reply to  ferdberple
February 17, 2016 5:58 am

I agree.

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  ferdberple
February 17, 2016 1:25 pm

Anthony..
Hmm. Okay that is a fair prediction and costs nothing and may be correct. Puzzle me this: It should be calculate-able how many binary black holes there may be and what the range of the amplitude & pulse width should be observed here on earth. I conjecture that the detector should be sizzling with countless pulses. I further conjecture that other phenomena should yield other wave forms. By the numbers, there should be an estimate of the frequency of these events. Where is that?

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
February 17, 2016 1:48 pm

Of course there is: http://www.leif.org/EOS/When-BH-Collide.pdf
somewhere around 1 Hz. We may not see most of them, as the frequency depends strongly on the mass.
Also, the presentation [it is from 2009] shows the expected signal forms. Compare that with what we actually saw, and marvel.

schitzree
Reply to  ferdberple
February 17, 2016 4:24 pm

There is also the fact that our detectors are essentially two dimensional. They will detect best the collisions that happen in the same plane and less so those whose ‘spiral’ is perpendicular to one of their detection arms.
Or so I’d assume. ^¿^

george e. smith
Reply to  ferdberple
February 17, 2016 4:26 pm

Ferd, If you read the actual real paper that Dr. S gave us a link to, you will discover that they considered other possible events, such as a couple of neutron stars coalescing, or a BH and a neutron star, but they know how to calculate those from Einstein’s theory , and they already excluded all other possibilities; well at least the ones that a cast of 1,000 authors could come up with.
But I’m sure that if you have a potential alternative event in mind, those guys would be overjoyed to have you tell them about it.
And I think I already said, given how much crap there is to see in just the Hubble deep field dot on the 4pi sphere of the cosmos, I’ll bet there’s another signal coming along from some other place right now; might already be here from a mere 100 million years ago.
I think it is going to get very gravitationally noisy out there in the big world, and we may have to put noise limits on, to stop everybody from listening to cosmic collision noises.
G

ferdberple
Reply to  ferdberple
February 17, 2016 6:18 pm

a potential alternative event in mind
=======================
the obvious answer is something as yet unknown. in an infinite universe there are an infinite number of unknown events, but only a very small number of known events. this argues that almost everything we observe “out there” is much more likely to be unknown than known. the further “out there” we look, the more likely everything we see will be “unknown”.
so when someone tells me for sure this is two black holes of mass x and y colliding z billion light years away, I’m going to be skeptical. Maybe what we are really seeing is GR predicting itself, and the actual true values x, y, and z are nothing like what the models are telling us.

Reply to  ferdberple
February 17, 2016 6:43 pm

It is highly unlikely that “something as yet unknown” should match the observed signal and the prediction from GR so closely.

zemlik
Reply to  cementafriend
February 17, 2016 6:22 am

I mentioned this earlier. It seems that this experiment hinges on the distance to 2 mirrors being precisely understood but but but these gravity waves will be acting on the experiment as it is being constructed so I cannot see how the distance can be known.

TjW
Reply to  zemlik
February 17, 2016 7:37 am

The distance isn’t known. But it doesn’t have to be. It’s interferometry. You split the beam and check for a change in phase.

ferdberple
Reply to  zemlik
February 17, 2016 12:56 pm

gravity waves don’t only affect the distance to the mirrors. they affect space-time, which means gravity waves will affect matter, energy and time. As such, not only is the distance to the mirrors being affected, the laser must also be affected. Since the laser follows the path of the arms of the interferometer, it is somewhat surprising that the effect on matter is not cancelled by the effect on the laser.
In effect this is a large version of the Michelson–Morley experiment aether drift experiment, showing that the speed of light was invariant with motion. The LIGO interferometer is arguing that there is motion in the aether; only now the aether is gravity.

Jay Hope
Reply to  zemlik
February 17, 2016 2:57 pm

Interesting that Lief thinks that ‘one strong event is not weak evidence’ when he said on another thread that six years of research into the connection between solar activity and lighting wasn’t long enough.

Reply to  Jay Hope
February 17, 2016 2:59 pm

simply because the evidence for that was too weak to begin with. Get a hold on perspective here.

george e. smith
Reply to  zemlik
February 17, 2016 5:22 pm

Well zemlik, just because YOU can’t see how the distance between two mirrors can be known; doesn’t mean other people can’t.
A case in point: Take two plane mirrors spaced 1.0 cm by a ground and polished fused quartz tube. Now you can measure the length of that quartz tube with a fairly ordinary micrometer, with an uncertainty of say a ten thousandth of an inch. I think that is 2.54 microns. Well let’s round it out to 10 microns. Well a red light such as a neon spectrum line might be about .65 microns wavelength, so lets say half a wavelength is 1/3 micron. Well that quartz spacer is about 10,000 microns or 30,000 half waves of the red light. But I can’t measure it closer than about 30 half wavelengths with my micrometer.
So when I look at the interference fringes that are generated with those two mirrors, each 1/3rd micron shift in the spacing changes the number of the fringe (the ” order “) by one. I can measure the diameter of the circular fringes that I can make with that gizmo, and determine the fractional fringe that corresponds to a ring of zero radius right at the center. I can easily measure that to about 0.01 of a fringe +/- 30 fringes.
So maybe I can say that my mirrors are spaced by 29, 947.37 half waves of that red light +/- 30 half waves. But I’m sure I got that .37 fringe correctly.
So now what if I have some more wavelengths present simultaneously. The neon spectrum contains dozens of red orange yellow lines. I can crudely separate the interference fringes from the different lines, with nothing more complicated that a glass prism. Don’t even have to know anything about the prism. I have a slit cross-section of the different rings, and the sets of rings are separated at right angles to the slit.
Each one of those spectral lines has a different wavelength so they make their own set of rings, and in particular each one gives me a different fractional order at the center of its ring pattern.
So now I have fringe orders for my spectral lines of say:
29,947.37 ; 28, 865.13 ; 27,421.92 ; 26,663.77 ; ….. I could have a dozen different lines each with its own order number, and ALL OF THEM uncertain to the tune of 30 fringes.
I got those order numbers by dividing my mechanically measured but uncertain mirror spacing, by the half wavelength of the different spectral lines and adding on my MEASURED fractional order from the ring pattern.
But when I multiply my order numbers by the wavelengths, , I find that only the first one I used has the correct fractional fringe. The others don’t match, so I try adding or subtracting one from each order number and recalculating using the same reference line to estimate the length.
Eventually, somewhere in the range of that 30 orders, as if by magic, suddenly all of my fractional order fractions pop out with the correct value close enough.
Now I know I have eliminated the 30 fringe 10 micron uncertainty in the length, because only the correct integer order for the real physical length will give me the correct fractional order for each of those spectral lines, that I saw SIMULTANEOUSLY through my spectrometer.
I only need to know the wavelength of one of those spectral lines, and I don’t need to know that all that accurately. But once I get my fractional order pattern to match, I can now calculate those wavelengths easily to in this case one part in 10^7 (0.01 order)
To get that good, I have to allow for the refractive index of the air. I have to allow for the wavelength variation of the refractive index of the air. I have to allow for the effect of the humidity.
These chaps got rid of all that junk by doing it in a high vacuum.
There is supposed to be a 180 degree phase change on reflection from a metal mirror surface (silver). Only it isn’t 180 degrees. There’s a phase shift due to the non infinite conductivity of the metal, so the reflected EM wave is nearly inverted but not quite, and the offset is likely wavelength dependent, so the group of spectral lines can’t be too wide apart.
Well I did all of that 60 years ago, with exactly the gizmo I described. And I ended up measuring the wavelengths of about 24 lines in the spectrum of a neon discharge tube, to about one part in 10^7.
Now Michelson measured the meter bar in Paris, with his interferometer, so he had 100 times the number of fringes (order) that I had, and he did it with several colored lines. One of them was the red line in the spectrum of Cadmium. If my memory serves; he got 6438.4696 Angstroms for that line. Dunno what it is today. If I misremembered it, somebody will correct me.
Now with 1,000 labcoats working on this problem, I’m betting these guys are doing a whole lot better than I did 60 years ago.
If you don’t know how these sorts of things get measured routinely in many branches of science; it is quite hazardous to speculate that they can’t do something, just because you can’t do it.
G

george e. smith
Reply to  zemlik
February 17, 2016 5:30 pm

Ferd,
The mirrors in the LIGO interferometers are large masses. They are sensitive to gravity and gravity waves.
The original laser, that is creating the light, is not 4km long and is also not likely to be oriented in some haphazard direction.
The laser is all in one place effectively; the gravity antenna masses are 4km apart. They say it’s a YAG laser. I would guess it is not even a meter long. So the gizmo is 4,000 times longer at least, and that much more sensitive to gravity waves disturbance.
G

ferdberple
Reply to  zemlik
February 17, 2016 6:10 pm

the light, is not 4km long
================
the laser beam is 8km long. 4km in each direction.

ferdberple
Reply to  zemlik
February 17, 2016 6:11 pm

large masses. They are sensitive to gravity and gravity waves.
======================
the laser beam is also sensitive to gravity and gravity waves.

george e. smith
Reply to  zemlik
February 18, 2016 5:08 pm

The laser light that emerges from the YAG laser, has its properties determined inside the laser resonant cavity, which would be whatever length YAG crystal, they are able to grow, and it has something like a 2.7 refractive index which will raise the optical path by that amount.
But the dimensions (length) of the laser cavity as far as the gravitational wave is concerned is simply the mechanical length of the crystal between its end mirrors. Well it could be an external resonator laser, with Brewster angle mirrors on the ends of the YAG crystal, instead of the resonator mirrors.
Once the laser beam exits the laser resonator cavity, it is on free flight dependent on the physics of EM propagation and whatever effect gravity has on EM radiation. I don’t see that the gravitational wave is having an effect on the massless photons once they are launched.
The total laser beam path length inside the LIGO is much longer than 4 or even 8 Km. The beam goes back and forth in the resonator in each arm many times; I thought I saw a 300 there somewhere.
I don’t believe that the laser wave, is coherent over the whole 4 km length of the interferometer arms, let alone the 300 round trips. But I might be wrong on that.
I think the laser beams bounced off the moon corner retro-reflectors use simply time of flight to measure distance to the moon. I don’t think they are counting fringes to get wavelength sized resolution of moon distance. Time of flight is simply a foot per nanosecond, so they could in principle be measuring to a few mils or better.
But the LIGO resonators must have astronomically large Q’s. I’m sure that the vacuum tube and its trappings doesn’t have much to do with the situation, and each of the individual mirror slabs must be an independent object. I can’t imagine that those two mirrors 4km apart are hanging from some sky hook that is isolated from the planet surface.
G

george e. smith
Reply to  zemlik
February 18, 2016 5:11 pm

Next thing they will need is a space borne LIGOnometer.
Get that sucker off this planet to remove the disturbances.
G

Reply to  cementafriend
February 17, 2016 8:07 am

While I believe that these facilities measured something, I believe there are many explanations of what that could be. Even if it was gravitational waves they sensed, I think it is a huge stretch to think that there is any confidence in their prediction of the cause.
Running a computer model backwards is total BS. And the fact is that there is still a lot of debate as to whether black holes even exist. But somehow, not only do they know it was black holes, they know the size of each one.
The fact is that the computer simulation they ran is representing a bunch of black hole/gravitational wave theory. Based on this theory, and only looking at this theory as a cause, they arrived at their conclusion. This would appear to me to be confirmation bias at its very worst.

george e. smith
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
February 17, 2016 5:37 pm

Well Einstein’s theory predicted both the waves, and also how and why they exist. (if they do).
So these guys calculated what should happen if Einstein’s theory is correct. What they observed agrees with what they calculated from Einstein’s theory. Whatever the hell they think they saw; they saw exactly what Einstein told them they would see, in crafting his theory.
Maybe his theory isn’t a gravitational wave theory at all. Maybe its a “whatever ” theory.
Well ok, these people have just observed a real live billion and a half year old Einstein “whatever” just as he predicted.
G

george e. smith
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
February 18, 2016 5:19 pm

Umm ! I think that was the whole idea to see if they could fit the experimental data to the theoretical computation of what it is supposed to be.
So confirmation bias was the whole idea in doing this.
Next round is. Whose got a different model (from Einstein’s) that they think is a closer fit to reality.
All you need is to come up with your own gravitation theory, that still fits all the known and replicated gravitational physics, and is a better fit to the event that they just observed, or whatever comes next.
The whole idea was to look for signals that agree with Einstein, or else disagree, thus showing him to be no good at gravitation theory. So bring on the strings and let’s see your shot at explaining what they just saw.
G

brians356
Reply to  cementafriend
February 17, 2016 3:24 pm

“This means that the mathematical model in inverse form is extremely ill-posed and as such cannot be used to draw conclusions. To do so requires that all alternative explanations of the zero signal can be eliminated, and it is then not enough to just say that no other explanation immediately suggest themselves, that is to draw conclusions from ignorance with the precision of the conclusions increasing as the ignorance or stupidity grows.”
Not unlike: “No other explanations for a century of gradual global warming suggest themselves … therefore we are increasingly certain man-made CO2 is causing it.”

biff
February 17, 2016 3:03 am

Where exactly are the two black holes?

DaveF
Reply to  biff
February 17, 2016 3:13 am

One is in the back of my wardrobe, I’m sure of it. It’s where all the single socks go.

Marcus
Reply to  DaveF
February 17, 2016 4:41 am

Your Black Hole must connect to mine..I always have EXTRA socks ! Want them back ??

zemlik
Reply to  DaveF
February 17, 2016 6:44 am

that is the activity of the sock monster that hides in the washing machine.

brians356
Reply to  DaveF
February 17, 2016 3:28 pm

Marcus, isn’t that something like a “wormhole”?

Reply to  biff
February 17, 2016 3:14 am

The two black holes are in the imagination of the team of ‘scientists’.

Marcus
Reply to  markstoval
February 17, 2016 4:17 am

Anthony, he is an anarchist, so yes, he is blathering !

Reply to  markstoval
February 17, 2016 4:50 am

Anthony a true “black” hole is according to definitions or theory as espoused by Hawking one where nothing can be emitting even information (Hawking). If a object in the universe emits x-rays, occasional light or even gravity waves (if they exist) then the object can not be a black hole. There are many papers written doubting black holes here is one http://ptep-online.com/index_files/2015/PP-43-06.PDF (there are many others in the journal Progress in Physics.) so it could easily be said that “black” holes are the imagination of some scientists. Just because it is possible to make (with various often conflicting assumptions) a mathematical model is no proof that something exists. So-called climate scientists have invented models for projecting global temperatures, and event fiddling with adjusted hindcast information they have been proved wrong. With a model of something billions of light years away which should not emit anything it can never be proved wrong by measurements made on or close to our Earth. Here is the website of one of the smartest mathematicians http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com.au/ if you follow what he does you can see how to build up some real models.

Marcus
Reply to  markstoval
February 17, 2016 5:05 am

cementafriend, Gravitational Waves have no mass , there for they are not affected by Gravity Waves ! ( or something like that )

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  markstoval
February 17, 2016 5:19 am

Nope, they’re in the data.

ferdberple
Reply to  markstoval
February 17, 2016 5:26 am

Gravitational Waves have no mass
==================
then under e=mc2 they have no energy. yet we are told that the energy involved in this event was equivalent to 3 solar masses.

Reply to  ferdberple
February 17, 2016 7:50 am

Sunlight has no mass ]to be correct: rest-mass] yet certainly has energy. The Sun loses 4 million tons of mass per second producing its heat and light.

Mike
Reply to  markstoval
February 17, 2016 5:27 am

It’s an interesting technical point. The equivalent of 3 solar masses is supposed to have been converted to a gravity wave. That “information” has reached us, which defies the definition of an event horizon which would have defined the limit of each blackhole.
so it looks like someone needs to change the rules a bit.

Reply to  Mike
February 17, 2016 7:52 am

Has nothing to do with the event horizon. Even the Earth in orbit around the Sun emits 200 Watt as gravitational waves.

Reply to  markstoval
February 17, 2016 5:30 am

Anthony Watts wrote: “Mark, do you have proof of that? Or are you just blathering?”
Well, it seems to me that the team is talking about two “black holes” mating into one “black hole” billions of light years away from here in the far distance past. It is all hat and no cattle — rather, it is all conjecture and no evidence. And yet you think I need to prove that they are dealing in conjecture?
Marcus: “Anthony, he is an anarchist, so yes, he is blathering !”
So you think that radical libertarians (Rothbardian even) have nothing to add to science on the very fact they believe that government is our enemy? Tell me what part of this you find wrong: http://archive.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard62.html

seaice1
Reply to  markstoval
February 17, 2016 5:34 am

Cementafriend.
“Anthony a true “black” hole is according to definitions or theory as espoused by Hawking one where nothing can be emitting even information (Hawking).”
Hawking famously made a bet that information was lost in a black hole, and that black hole evaporation via Hawking radiation did not preserve information. That was something of a philosophical problem, since many interpretations of quantum mechanics mean that information cannot be destroyed.
Hawking eventually conceded that he was wrong, and handed over an encyclopedia of Baseball to John Preskill, the winner of the bet.
The upshot is that not only do black holes evaporate, the information they contain is not lost! They are not really black at all.
Hawking made another bet about the existence of black holes. This was of a different nature, because he betted that black holes did not exist. He believed he would lose this bet. However, if he was proved wrong about black holes, he would at least have four years subscription to the satirical magazine Private Eye to console him for all those years of wasted effort. In an updated edition of A Brief History of Time he said: “Although the situation with Cygnus X-1 has not changed much since we made the bet in 1975, there is now so much other observational evidence in favour of black holes that I have conceded the bet. I paid the specified penalty, which was a one year subscription to Penthouse, to the outrage of Kip’s liberated wife.”

Tom in Florida
Reply to  markstoval
February 17, 2016 5:45 am

cementafriend February 17, 2016 at 4:50 am
“Anthony a true “black” hole is according to definitions or theory as espoused by Hawking one where nothing can be emitting even information (Hawking). If a object in the universe emits x-rays, occasional light or even gravity waves (if they exist) then the object can not be a black hole”
The x-rays are produced in the accretion disk not in the black hole.

seaice1
Reply to  markstoval
February 17, 2016 8:42 am

Markstoval.
“Tell me what part of this you find wrong:”
This bit for a start “The social path dictated by the requirements of man’s nature, therefore, is the path of “property rights”” That is just invention. It only follows from his definition of man’s nature. There may be good justifications for property rights, but that ain’t it. “It should be equally clear that the coercive, exploitative means is contrary to natural law; it is parasitic, for instead of adding to production, it subtracts from it. ” He is mixing up his is’s and his ought’s. Even if coercion is parasitic that does not make it contrary to natural law (unless you define it that way – but that is circular argument).
However good an economist Rothbard may have been, he is not much of a philosopher.

Reply to  markstoval
February 17, 2016 8:48 am

“However good an economist Rothbard may have been, he is not much of a philosopher.”
We will have to agree to disagree here as this site is not for such augmentation. All I can say is that your saying he was not a good Philosopher is much like the man who said Newton was not much of a physicist. (ignorant in other words)

Mike the Morlock
Reply to  markstoval
February 17, 2016 9:18 am

markstoval February 17, 2016 at 3:14 am
The two black holes are in the imagination of the team of ‘scientists’.
As I noted on the earlier thread we have discovered that double star systems are much more prevalent the previously thought.
So is it also likely that double black holes are also going to be more common?
Dr. lsvalgaard I’m I off base with this?
also I added this late to the other thread for those you had some questions due to dates of announcements. It should clear up some doubts and confusion
http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/press-releases/LIGO-panstarrs/
michael

Reply to  Mike the Morlock
February 17, 2016 9:23 am

Double systems are very common.

Reply to  markstoval
February 17, 2016 11:13 am

Next thing we’ll have people here doubting neutron stars …
http://www.dispatchtribunal.com/victoria-m-kaspi-awarded-top-canadian-science-prize/15029/
I can’t see most bullets in flight; but I can measure the result of intercepting them.
If you had never seen a rifle, would you believe in bullets?
Maybe that is too simple of an analogy.
Science can be hard and there are many box canyons.

Reply to  markstoval
February 17, 2016 5:44 pm

markstoval February 17, 2016 at 5:30 am

Anthony Watts wrote: “Mark, do you have proof of that? Or are you just blathering?”
Well, it seems to me that the team is talking about two “black holes” mating into one “black hole” billions of light years away from here in the far distance past. It is all hat and no cattle — rather, it is all conjecture and no evidence. And yet you think I need to prove that they are dealing in conjecture?
Marcus: “Anthony, he is an anarchist, so yes, he is blathering !”
So you think that radical libertarians (Rothbardian even) have nothing to add to science on the very fact they believe that government is our enemy? Tell me what part of this you find wrong: http://archive.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard62.html

Both Anthony and Marcus have asked entirely reasonable questions. You posted a claim with absolutely no evidence. I think I speak for all reasonable blog owners, in that the purpose of the comments is so people can discuss, i.e. with reasons and arguments; not so someone can just throw smoke bombs into the room. You should have put the reasons you now proffer into your original post, otherwise you are just making mischief.

ferdberple
Reply to  markstoval
February 17, 2016 6:23 pm

Sunlight has no mass ]to be correct: rest-mass]
==============
show me sunlight sitting at rest.

Reply to  ferdberple
February 17, 2016 6:45 pm

Einstein showed you how to: just ride at the speed of light along a beam of sunlight.

Reply to  markstoval
February 19, 2016 2:33 am

@ Ron House,
I see you use the same line as the cAGW alarmists. If I say there is no physical evidence and it is all in the mind of the “scientists” (at least at this point in time) you claim I am a bad person (possible should be banned as a “mischief maker” unless I prove the negative.
Ron, you @#$@$, please be advised that the scientists who claim there was once upon a time two black holes who mated and gave us gravity-wave-children need to prove that — not me!
There are so darned many on this site who really don’t grasp what science is. People see conformation bias in others but not themselves!

“… man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest …” (singer Paul Simon)

David Schofield
Reply to  biff
February 17, 2016 5:53 am

After 1.3 billion years probably far far away from the signal origin.

BACullen
Reply to  David Schofield
February 17, 2016 6:25 am

I thought gravitational waves (gravity) traveled at >10^8C, I.e. ~Instantaneously. so 1.3E9 light years is at best misleading.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  David Schofield
February 17, 2016 6:59 am

They travel at approximately light speed, so would require 1.3 billion years to arrive at earth from 1.3 billion light-years away.

beng135
Reply to  David Schofield
February 18, 2016 8:39 am

David Schofield says:
After 1.3 billion years probably far far away from the signal origin.
True, but visually (visual, IR, radio, X-ray, gamma, etc) the culprit will be where the gravitational waves came from since all the radiation (gravitational or otherwise) is traveling at the same speed.

Jay Hope
Reply to  biff
February 17, 2016 5:57 am

Very true, Ferdberple.

george e. smith
Reply to  biff
February 17, 2016 5:40 pm

Gone but not forgotten.
g

biff
February 17, 2016 3:17 am

Was thinking it was damn lucky that the detector was built in time to detect the ‘signal’…
Guess someone is after the ol nobel gratuity.

Marcus
Reply to  biff
February 17, 2016 4:20 am

After Obama won the ” Peace Prize “, before even becoming POTUS, the value of the Nobel became less than zero !

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Marcus
February 17, 2016 6:18 am

Yassar Arafat also won the Peace prize in 1994 so it was already valued at less than zero. But that is not the same as the Nobel in Physics.

Ernest Bush
Reply to  Marcus
February 17, 2016 8:51 am

It must have some value out there considering how many Alarmists have falsely stated they had one on their CVs and online resumes.

Marcus
Reply to  biff
February 17, 2016 7:33 am

Sorry Tom in Florida, I thought Arafat got the Nobel Pity Prize..silly me….

george e. smith
Reply to  biff
February 17, 2016 5:50 pm

Biff,
When two cars collide at an intersection; it stands to reason that they both were at the same point in space at the same time.
There’s a hell of a lot of intersections out there.
Gotta be a collision at one of them every millisecond.
Take a look at the Hubble Deep Field Photograph, which is a smaller spot in space, than anything you can see with your naked eye.
So now tell me, there is absolutely nothing going on anywhere that is coming our way, and will be here in just a few minutes.
It won’t be long now before there will be laws to stop everybody from building their own damn gravity antenna, and posting pictures on the web of something we don’t want to see.
The idea that this is the ultimate in sheer happenstance, and nothing would have been seen if we had our backs turned, is just loony.
So just how long has CETI been burning the midnight oil and wasting megabucks looking for intelligent life.
It’s a good thing they are looking ” out there ” for it, because if they look in here, they likely won’t find any.
G

indefatigablefrog
Reply to  george e. smith
February 17, 2016 8:00 pm

Total agreement with the principle of what you have said – but a small correction:
“It (hubble deep field) covers an area 2.5 arcminutes across, about one 24-millionth of the whole sky, which is equivalent in angular size to a 65 mm tennis ball at a distance of 100 metres.”
So, not quite as small an area as many would imagine.
It would be visible if it were illuminated. Although clearly the contents are not visible. To the naked eye it is a small dark patch of sky. So, a visible size, but dark, too dark to see!!!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubble_Deep_Field

george e. smith
Reply to  george e. smith
February 18, 2016 10:47 am

“”””””……
indefatigablefrog
February 17, 2016 at 8:00 pm
Total agreement with the principle of what you have said – but a small correction: …..”””””
Thank you for the correction inde’, I overexaggerated in underestimating the size of the deep field. Yes your eye could resolve something 2.5 arc minutes across. Normal good visual acuity is about one arc minute. With my right eye, I can see about 8pi steradians. Plenty of light, but no resolution. A retinal “macular pucker” probably due to blasting my retina with a laser in my misguided youth.
Still, can you just imagine a 4pi deep field photograph; would make great wall paper for a very large room.
But think of all the C*** there would be in there for us to see with out new gravitational radio eyes.
Just when we were beginning to think that the post Higgs physics field was just ho hum, we all get a new wake up and wonder call.
G

Reply to  biff
February 17, 2016 11:14 pm

Where is the calibration if they have only detected on event?

Reply to  tobias smit
February 17, 2016 11:16 pm

Dang thumb: they have only detected “on event”? Should read “one event”, sorry.

george e. smith
Reply to  biff
February 18, 2016 5:27 pm

Everything happens at just the correct time. Things happen when they can and not before. And everything happens immediately. Nothing waits before happening; stuff happens as soon as it is possible and once that has happened whatever can happen next will happen, sometimes it is only attoseconds before something else happens.
What magic force would cause something to wait before happening ?? What would determine how long to wait.
The universe happens in real time; no waiting.
G

Gregg C.
Reply to  george e. smith
February 24, 2016 7:18 am

Time is God’s way of making sure everything doesn’t happen all at once.

Eliza
February 17, 2016 3:30 am

No One is noticing, but Arctic ice extent (Thick ice) is completely back to Normal levels
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
[We have been watching other plots as well, Some (Cryosphere for example) still have arctic sea ice area consistent at about -1.2 to -1.5 million sq kilometers this winter. .mod]

Unmentionable
Reply to  Eliza
February 17, 2016 3:56 am

Thank you, Eliza, good to see … or maybe not … according to some. You’ve relieved my cognitive dissonance involved in how matter falls under influence of mere G, exceeding speed of light to make something that shouldn’t thus exist, but is discussed as if perfectly real, with empirical something to back it up. 🙂

Marcus
Reply to  Unmentionable
February 17, 2016 4:29 am

..Not enough coffee yet ??

Unmentionable
Reply to  Unmentionable
February 17, 2016 5:44 am

Look up and down the thread Marcus, can you count up your irrelevant post flood? Maybe you had too much coffee already? 😉

Marcus
Reply to  Unmentionable
February 17, 2016 6:14 am

..Waaaay too much coffee….

Marcus
Reply to  Eliza
February 17, 2016 4:24 am

…Who gets to decide what ” normal ” levels are ? Compared to 100 years ago ? 1,000 ? 1,000,000 ? Is there really such a thing as ” normal ” sea ice extent ?

seaice1
Reply to  Marcus
February 18, 2016 1:17 am

dbstealey “RACook specified “thick ice”” What are you referring to? I see no contribution by RACook, nor any mention of thick ice.
Brians356. The line is currently below the 2012 one. It does not appear to anyone with understanding that the ice has been growing for the last 4 years since 2015 is below 2014 and 2013.
It is not a matter of convenience. The DMI explain that the 30% plot underestimates the extent because of coastal masks. The 15% plot is a better estimate of extent because it measures the actual extent of ice over sea better. You will notice that the 30% plot peaks around 10MKm2, whereas the 15% plot peaks at about 16MKm2. This is consistent with an underestimation.

Reply to  Marcus
February 18, 2016 8:35 am

My misteak, it was Eliza, just a few comments upthread. So you’re half right. My point stands.

seaice1
Reply to  Marcus
February 19, 2016 2:13 am

The graph Eliza posted is not for “thick ice”. There is no accreditation, but it is the ice extent (30%) from DMI. Please correct me if I am wrong. This is not “thick ice”, nor anything like it.

seaice1
Reply to  Marcus
February 19, 2016 4:43 am

1oldnwise4me@reagan. Thank you for the info. Can you (or anyone) point me to the origin of the graph Eliza posted? It looks rather like the 30% graph.

seaice1
Reply to  Eliza
February 17, 2016 9:02 am

Unless you use the one the DMI prefer, that is 15% without coastal masks. The we find the extent is about as low as it has ever been.
http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/plots/icecover/icecover_current_new.png

brians356
Reply to  seaice1
February 17, 2016 3:35 pm

How conveeeeeeeenient!
Oops, you should have omitted 2012. Now it appears as if sea ice extent has been growing for the last four years – while CO2 concentration soared steadily as ever like a homesick angel.

Reply to  seaice1
February 17, 2016 4:34 pm

RACook specified “thick ice”, which makes more sense than temporary wind-blown ice propelled by various ocean currents.
But then you couldn’t use that scarier chart. I prefer RACook’s chart because it’s more truthful.

seaice1
Reply to  seaice1
February 18, 2016 1:18 am

My reply is above.

Reply to  seaice1
February 18, 2016 8:48 am

So is mine.

Reply to  Eliza
February 17, 2016 11:19 pm

Gravitational waves to Ice? Yikes.

seaice1
February 17, 2016 3:51 am

“This need for stable power to run LIGO may have been a factor as to why the Pasadena, CA based California Institute of Technology chose to put observatories outside of California,”
Or maybe it is because California suffers Earthquakes. If a truck driving by half a mile away can cause problems, I imagine a very small tremor on one of the myriad fault lines would be a bigger problem.
If you have a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  seaice1
February 17, 2016 5:34 am

The Pacific Northwest and Mississippi Valley also suffer earthquakes. Really big ones, Mag 8 and 9:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1700_Cascadia_earthquake
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1811%E2%80%9312_New_Madrid_earthquakes
Both are overdue for repeats.

jeanparisot
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
February 17, 2016 6:15 am

Its the micro quakes that are the problem here. The early attempts to manufacture the FOG gyro’s in California were a victim of them.
Big ones are a different problem.

Joecollins
Reply to  seaice1
February 17, 2016 6:38 am

Errrr, they needed a giant piece of flat land for each one of these in an isolated location. So a location like Hanford is perfect as it is flat and was inside the boundaries of a government reservation with controlled access.

Duster
Reply to  seaice1
February 17, 2016 10:17 am

At the extraordinarily small scale these guys are discussing there is no seismically quiet location on the planet. The globe continuously rings like a bell, driven by everything from earthquakes and magma movement to ocean waves and surf, the wind, and tidal distortions.

Reply to  Duster
February 18, 2016 12:06 am

@ Duster, 10:27 am Feb 17, Totally agree. sounds like a another grant seeker: ” We have seen it once, we need more funds to see it again” The absolutely MINUSCULE measurements are ridiculous, no matter the math and the conformation of Einstein’s predictions. And please do not get me wrong Einstein’s and the people that are doing this incredible work are astounding
BUT Boy, a fraction of the size of a proton? Come on let’s get real. I am always interested in science and love all of the advancements made that are usable, like computing power, carbon fiber, and so on and what those should ( and will eventually) mean for advancement in for instance bridge building, airplanes, solving problems in flood zones and agriculture and so on. But this gravitational research and the fact there is no calibration yet is not useful to our planet at this point in time. In no way should we stop research but the vast amounts of money ( and where does that money come from in the first place) needs to be looked at!
Look, maybe I am short sighted, uninformed and ignorant but our civilization has larger problems than working out what gravitational waves mean at this time and what their uses could be. We need to dismiss the Global warming hoax, give access to cheap power to third world nations to get them to a better and healthier standard of living before we get to far ahead of ourselves. ( sorry about the rant).

David A
Reply to  Duster
February 18, 2016 3:51 am

Read Peter Sables (signal processing) comments on the original thread, as well as Smokey’s and others alleviate some of these concerns. Earthquake waves (two distinct wave forms) travel at a detectable rate, much slower then the speed of light, and could not have caused this signal
Many potential factors could make such signals, some at one location, less at both locations, fewer at both locations within the reordered time frame between locations, some magnitudes larger, some smaller, etc, however it is the frequency detected in two locations matching in frequency and speed of detection to predictions using Einstein’s equations of what to look for, which eliminate so many other possible reasons for this particular signal and timing between locations.
Could unaccounted for factors have mimicked said signal? Possibly, but what??? Could a micro earthquake between the sites, not detectable by seismographic instruments, have arrived at such a strength and timing?
Atmospheric changes alter ocean water height by well over one meter, yet water being liquid has such tidal flux amplified or reduced at a rather steady rate. Land deformation under both lunar gravity and atmospheric pressure also occurs. Is this deformation as steady as water, or does it change in brief surges, minor rapid flux, such as how earthquakes release stress, only magnitudes smaller, and perhaps only detectable by these instruments? Could these have mathematically mimicked such a signal? Maybe, I do not know.
However I consider such questions (skepticism) valid for learning and understanding, and I consider that some of the many scientist involved studied and planned for such things, and are therefore capable of answering such questions. Questioning, and assertion of positive disbelieve without deep understanding are two different things.

Patrick MJD
February 17, 2016 3:57 am

That’s only a small block rod, so its ok!

Marcus
Reply to  Patrick MJD
February 17, 2016 4:32 am

Isn’t that ZZ top’s roadster ?

Mark
February 17, 2016 4:18 am

Whilst I don’t agree on alleged black holes, it’s good to see the hypocrisy pointed out.
NASA’s carbon footprint must be epic. But we know that already.
Imagine CERN trying to run the accelerator on solar and wind!

February 17, 2016 4:21 am

Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:

Absolutely.

Bloke down the pub
February 17, 2016 4:24 am

Kip Thorne was also an executive producer, and the scientific advisor for the film Interstellar. While it wasn’t without some flaws in logic, the images of gravitational lensing around a black hole are enough to make it worth watching.

Marcus
Reply to  Bloke down the pub
February 17, 2016 4:34 am

” Some flaws in logic ” ?…That is a joke right ?

February 17, 2016 4:45 am

Tout the wonders of fossil fuels as much as you like, but stop deluding yourself that LIGO is anything other than a money pit, or that the people involved in releasing the claim are any better than the snake oil salesmen that infest climateolgy. This claim is a sham and a disgrace. A lie so big it has proved Goebel’s theory of propaganda by the number of blinded acolytes who can’t accept that anyone would have the gumption to tell it.

Marcus
Reply to  wickedwenchfan
February 17, 2016 5:18 am

..That’s a bit overboard, don’t you think ! Just a little….

Ernest Bush
Reply to  Anthony Watts
February 17, 2016 9:16 am

I would point out that this announcement has fallen on skepticism because of the funding source and the timing. These scientists are being victimized by the “bad science” (I would add fiction) being done by the Alarmists, whose assertions in the MSM have reached the level of absurdity. They really have given science a bad name.
While I am skeptical about the timing, I am perfectly content to let the scientific method work. I will save real excitement for when this experiment is repeated by others in the future. I would also point out that there have been a couple of gaffs in the Astronomy community recently.
@www – you need to chill out. The emotional language in your post rises to the level of the Goebel-like propaganda you are accusing others of propagating.

george e. smith
Reply to  Anthony Watts
February 18, 2016 10:52 am

It seems Anthony, that all of a sudden, a whole lot of WUWT visitors cloaking devices have stopped working properly, and revealed more about them, than they intended to show.
That’s a revelation of some gravity, all by itself.
G

MCourtney
February 17, 2016 4:46 am

The last of these threads persuaded me to learn Mandarin.
Scepticism is not Cynicism.

Paul Westhaver
February 17, 2016 5:01 am

The 110 ms pulse event that is called gravity waves is very different from what I expected. I expected some fuzzy background signal that seemed to come from everywhere (like the background radiation a la Wilson and Penzias.) Since gravity is associated with matter and matter is everywhere it seems to me to be reasonable that time/space varying gravity “signals would be ubiquitous.
The fact that this, quite literally a pulse, in the gravity detector, exists in both detectors in solitude, troubles me.
It troubles me not because of the brilliant minds that put the machine together, rather the roll-out miasma. I smacked of …
“you better believe this because before we tell you the underlying science we will awe you with all the awesome names of the awesome participants and that should be enough to stop ANY DOUBT”
Well, science requires reexamination or data regardless of the pedigree of the investigators.
I want to know why, with the vastness of the universe and the ostensible trillions of earth like planets logic stream, there are not trillions of binary stars and many many more of these so called, colliding binary black holes? Why have there been no other signals?
Like I said I have no doubts about the machines. I have a great deal of doubt about the human being-funding relationship. ‘No bucks- no Buck Rogers” The weakness of science is the human contribution. Egos, glory, government funding. More important than the calibration of the equipment to measure a distortion of 1/000 of a proton diameter, is the impending need for justification to maintain the funding levels.
What?… a scientist might exaggerate a signal to make the case for funding? Never heard of that before?
I is all too convenient that the experiment yields a signal “identical” to a model of a common (but apparently rare) binary black hole collision. I, as usual. am happy to cheer on science and keep an open mind. I refuse to cheer on uncorroborated data based on celebrity. Especially when it buttressed by bullying braggarts.
A single pulse does not make a theory validated. In the words of Einstein himself, “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”
So, proceed with with healthy skepticism and ask penetrating questions regardless of the efforts to shut you down. In other words, Practice SCIENCE.

Marcus
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
February 17, 2016 5:16 am

The damage that CAGW has done to the trust in scientists from all fields will take a very long time to repair ! I agree with the above 100% , especially the last sentence.

Marcus
Reply to  Marcus
February 17, 2016 5:17 am

..CAGW fraud..

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
February 17, 2016 5:25 am

This will be the first of many. They only just got the system up and working when it detected a strong signal.
To be detectable, the waves have to come from our local region of the universe, even if powerful, like these from 1.3 billion lys distance.

Arsten
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
February 17, 2016 6:56 am

The strong signal is actually my problem with the discovery. A brand new instrument comes online and immediately detects what it was supposed to, exactly in the way that the century-old models predicted?
While I always like enthusiastic scientists, I have a problem with an instrument that hasn’t proved calibration making ground breaking discoveries? It took, what, 9 months of verification between “We think this signal is it!” and “We have repeated it and mathematically verified it!” for the Higgs boson, and that was on an instrument that was mature and had years of calibration and testing under it.
This may be the greatest discovery since sliced bread, but I want to see verification over time before I get all sorts of excited. This could just be another OMG particle event.

TjW
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
February 17, 2016 7:54 am

All the other stuff in the universe makes gravitational-wave noise. However, the signals are very small, and the detector is only able to pull the very largest signals out of the noise. So every once in awhile, there’s an event that’s detectable. When I lived a couple of miles away from the railroad yard, every once in awhile I’d hear railroad cars banging together. I’m sure railroad cars banged together at other times, but I was far enough away I only heard the very loudest collisions.

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  TjW
February 17, 2016 9:36 am

Ochams Razor.
The simplest explanation is likely the correct explanation.
If I were a gravity researcher I would apply Popper’s falsifiable hypothesis criteria. In fact, I would drop a load of Play-Dough on a warehouse floor at a site half way between the two facilities and produce a myriad of instrument pulses as close to the binary black hole pulse model as possible. I would transmit RF from space that would induce simultaneous instrument response.
Then I would invite my COMPETITORS to go over the data and shoot holes in it or detect one themselves and admit it.
That is what I want to see. Self-deprecating joy and the love of science. What I see, is bombast, chest beating, bullying and argumentative pride parading in celebrity and NOBEL NOBEL NOBEL. Not science in my opinion.
This reminds me of CAGW, Cold Fusion, Piltdown Man, SETI, Wow! event, and Kelvin’s Earth age blunder.
Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.
Now.. the Lewandowski issue.
Having a host of skeptical scientists buck convention and want proper science conducted in the face of a wave of celebrity presents a problem for Anthony. Lewandowsky is looking for political relief from his poorly constructed experiment characterizing WUWT readers as lunar landing skeptics. So I bet Anthony is walking on eggshells so to speak that we may inadvertently serve up what Lewandowski would characterizes as further evidence of the innate wackiness of the WUWT following. Well, ok but that is what big pants are for.
Corroboration of the gravity pulse by another competitive laboratory is proper science. Even if it takes another 20 years. Yes and you heard it here first on WUWT, a web site that loves real science.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  TjW
February 17, 2016 10:17 am

Paul Westhaver : February 17, 2016 at 9:36 am
“Ochams Razor.
The simplest explanation is likely the correct explanation.”
That is not what it means.

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  TjW
February 17, 2016 10:46 am

The catholic monk who first posited the aphorism thereby engendering its name was William Of Ocham (pick your favorite spelling)
his quote was “entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem”
translated is:
“entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity”
My common parlance restatement is perfectly acceptable.

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  TjW
February 17, 2016 11:00 am

Tom in Florida,
I suggest that if you are truly concerned with abuses of Ocham’s Razor that you deal with the cephus0
February 17, 2016 at 8:56 am invocation. Or you can remain on point regarding corroboration and falsifiability.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  TjW
February 17, 2016 12:47 pm

Paul Westhaver February 17, 2016 at 10:46 am
re Occam’s Razor
“My common parlance restatement is perfectly acceptable.”
Doesn’t make it correct. It is misleading to those who do not know the difference and then try to use it to justify simplistic ideas.

seaice1
Reply to  TjW
February 18, 2016 1:26 am

A reasonable phrasing is when exolaining something we no more assumptions should be made than necessary. It is interesting that when we turn this to AGW, the “natural” theory is in fact using an assumption – that there is something in nature that is responsible for every twist and turn. The AGW uses fewer assumptions because the forcing theory uses explanations for the forcings, nit merely assumptions.

DD More
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
February 17, 2016 9:14 am

Yes and the ground is so stable on those pair of 16 square km, and all the earthquakes and their aftershocks and the moon’s and planets gravity has been filtered out by the program. Timing between the two sites? Didn’t we have a ‘faster than light’ problem with timing a while back? Sure they got it all right.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
February 17, 2016 12:03 pm

Nicely stated.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
February 17, 2016 5:00 pm

Paul Westhaver,
The beauty of this site is that so many very knowledgeable people comment here. For example, Dr. Lief Svalgaard, a published, peer reviewed author on closely related science.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Svalgaard a couple of times (although he may not remember a nobody like me). He’s been immersed in the subject for decades, and he knows what he’s talking about. Certainly more than at least 99.97% of the population.
So when Dr. S says gravity waves have been detected, I rely on that. There’s a reason we use expertise; that way we don’t all have to be experts on every subject.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t question what the experts say. But those questions should be based on rigorous reasoning, and reasonable skepticism. Because the science part of it is good.
I expect more such discoveries, and with each one we will have more confidence that it is what they say it is. I would be skeptical only if it’s a fluke; a one-off.

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  dbstealey
February 17, 2016 5:42 pm

dbstealey,
I frequent this sight and have for many years because of the participants desire to practice science and its criticism. On balance the conversation is convivial and informative, a tribute to A Watt’s leadership. I don’t listen to a thing LiefSvalgaard writes. There is nothing that he contributes that I can’t otherwise find. You see, science has context. It is the search for knowledge about the natural world on behalf of mankind. Man is the purpose. In my view, he has never appealed to me to be relevant in terms of that dominant component. Many people can do math, read journals and pump their own prestige. A small few, who are worth remembering technically, also evoked a kind of humanity that begged remembrance, science acumen notwithstanding. I am not a solar astronomer but I love science and conduct science professionally (not usually subject matter on this site). I have a great interest in the sun and may have become a fan. I also love the company of old men who know things. LiefSvalgaard’s treatment of people on the site is reprehensible. Not to me in particular. I have little if any interaction and I mostly ignore him. He is a bore begging for relevance. But I have noted many many cruel writings he has made about other good and curious investigators and I would say that most of them were unwarranted. So I regard him as an old cruel bully with little to contribute of interest to anyone. In advanced years, and quite possibly suffering medical problems, like Alzheimers or dementia his hostility can be explained or tolerated. One would think with the few years he has left he would use them better. Great men whom I admire have rarely engaged his colleagues as I have witnessed by him. That being said I can’t speak to his infirmities, only to what he has written.

seaice1
Reply to  dbstealey
February 18, 2016 1:30 am

I find it amusing tha you feel it OK to say “So I regard him as an old cruel bully with little to contribute of interest to anyone. In advanced years, and quite possibly suffering medical problems, like Alzheimers or dementia”, yet criticise DrS for being hostile. His contributions have been quite restrained and extremely informative.

Reply to  dbstealey
February 18, 2016 1:31 am

Paul Westhaver,
I agree about our friend Lief, he has a rather brutal way of dealing with people he does not agree with. He has his beliefs that he believes are true and written in stone, that is not the attitude that is required of a true scientist. Wayne

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  dbstealey
February 18, 2016 7:25 am

“Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”
Richard Feynman, “What Is Science?”, 1966 Address.

beng135
Reply to  dbstealey
February 18, 2016 9:34 am

Paul, you must have never had a tough, disciplinarian professor (rare these days, I’d guess). Tough to deal with, but almost always the ones you learn the most from when you figure out how to ignore the acerbic stuff and bear down.

David A
Reply to  dbstealey
February 19, 2016 4:34 am

Beng, ignoring Leif’s snark is something I endeavor to do with our resident astronomer. However in reading Leif’s comments it is work to filter out the direct and general insults. In the gravity thread I learned more from numerous others, because they directly addressed the concerns brought up by others, ignorant or wise, but mostly avoided the insulting language. See the succession of about six comments here between Leif and I, where I tried to encourage him, to take a similar tack… http://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/02/14/a-triumph-of-science-first-detection-of-the-gravitational-wave/#comment-2146306 Notice that Leif never responded to my last comment which was simply a scientific question.
Here, http://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/02/17/the-detection-of-gravitational-waves-a-triumph-of-science-enabled-by-fossil-fuels/#comment-2148214 I ask what I consider to be a crucial skeptical question, Could unaccounted for factors have mimicked the detected signal?
Paul Westhaver above mentions that they should be doing all possible to mimic the signal. (Perhaps they have?) I would love to see a list of what actual signals were eliminated at each site to produce the remaining graphics that matched each other and Einstein’s predictions, and the size of the error bars for each signal eliminated. These instruments may be capable of detecting events that no seismograph invented can detect, opening the possibility that previously unknown and researched events (micro quakes, seismic, lunar or atmospheric pressure induced for instance) between the two sites could have produced a similar strength, timing and duration event.
Skepticism should have imagination, and while cynicism is often unwarranted, social political observations of subjects like CAGW can mean that some cynicism is rationale. Where humans are involved, cynicism can be rationale. However it is likely that the scientists here did not know exactly what other signals would be required to be eliminated in advance, and could not post hoc change how they adjusted for the disparate factors which likely occurred at the time of this signal, and the result is intriguing.

seaice1
February 17, 2016 5:09 am

The title of this post makes no sense: “a triumph of science enabled by fossil fuels.” Yet the article itself shows that one of the detectors is mostly powered by non-fossil fuel generated hydro power. It is probably the only place in the USA where that could happen. If anything it is a ringing endorsement of non CO2 producing energy.

Marcus
Reply to  seaice1
February 17, 2016 5:21 am

..Hydro power is not considered ” Green ” energy !

Mike
Reply to  Marcus
February 17, 2016 5:33 am

Who said anything abotu “green” ? Don’t misquote.
It certainly ain’t fossil fuel, is it?
Apparently it is not classed as “renewable” because …. it’s renewable. That would mean we don’t have to do anything in order to use more renewables : so it DOESN’T COUNT.
Please stay awake at the back , there.

Marcus
Reply to  Marcus
February 17, 2016 5:56 am

It is not considered ” renewable ” either ( by the greenies) but I was only pointing out the silliness of the greens. As for the title, it was BUILT with fossil fuels…period !

Steve Fraser
Reply to  Marcus
February 17, 2016 8:31 am

And, forget the CO2 released in the building of the dams, the steel for the generators, the entire grid infrastructure…

seaice1
Reply to  Marcus
February 17, 2016 9:15 am

Marcus “Hydro power is not considered ” Green ” energy !”
You are just making stuff up. From USswitch.com
“What is green energy or renewable energy?
Green electricity is generated from natural and renewable energy sources that have less of an impact on the environment than fossil fuels. If you’re looking for concreate examples of what is renewable energy, then energy produced using solar energy, wind energy and water power (hydroelectricity) all qualify. ”
Hydro counts as green energy.

Joe Civis
Reply to  Marcus
February 17, 2016 10:40 am

this is in response to seaice1….. actually only some “hydro” is considered renewable depending on the size and which state you live in. in California only small hydro is considered renewable and “imported” hydro energy since California has some sizable hydro generation the politicians didn’t want it classified as renewable so that they could push more subsidies to their preferred friend’s renewables ie wind and solar and the the “appropriate” kick backs and contributions to their political campaigns.
aahhhh politicians pushing a bad “solution” who’d a thunk??
Cheers,
Joe

Reply to  Marcus
February 17, 2016 11:32 am

For seaice1: Hydro as renewable – this has been discussed at length in other posts. The US Federal Government officially recognizes hydro electricity as “renewable”. However, they do not encourage it and promote other power sources as renewable.
See the “Renewable Portfolio Standards” promoted by the Federal Government, adopted by over 30 states and hundreds of cities according to this and other reports”
http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-infrastructure/gov-hydropower-renewable-energy.html
http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-infrastructure/gov-hydropower-renewable-energy.html

A trend has formed in the creation of state governments’ “Renewable Portfolio Standards” (RPS) for electricity generation. Since 1994, some 30 states (and hundreds of cities) have adopted binding RPSs with a majority passing such legislation since in 2004. Seven other states have adopted non-binding RPS “goals.” These standards call for power providers in some states to increase their use of renewable energy by as much as 33% by 2025.

Reply to  Marcus
February 17, 2016 11:34 am

Seaice1 – Forgot to mention that under the RPS, Hydro is not considered renewable.

Reply to  Marcus
February 17, 2016 2:36 pm

Darn, bad link – this is the one it should have been, sorry seaice1:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140710135110-294192772-why-hydroelectric-power-isn-t-considered-renewable

george e. smith
Reply to  Marcus
February 17, 2016 6:02 pm

Hydro power relies on the energy that powers the sun: Gravitational energy.
You put something up high (the sun even does that part for us too); then you let it fall, and turn a crank.
Voilla ! instant electricity
Can’t get any greener than that.
G

seaice1
Reply to  Marcus
February 19, 2016 2:31 am

Joe Civis and Wayne Delbeke. Thank you for the informative comments, complete with links. There is certainly some discussion about the sustainability of hydro. I think my point remains that it is not a fossil fuel, and thus the charts of generation source contradict rather then support the headline.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  seaice1
February 17, 2016 5:38 am

Greens in the PNW want to breach the dams for the sake of salmon.
The big Columbia River dams most certainly have released CO2. Do you know how concrete is made?
Plus, the region uses coal from Wyoming as the backup to its fish-killing dams and bird and bat-killing windmills.

Gloateus Maximus
Reply to  Gloateus Maximus
February 17, 2016 5:40 am

Hanford gets coal power from Oregon as well as Washington State:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boardman_Coal_Plant

Tom in Florida
Reply to  seaice1
February 17, 2016 5:57 am

You have to look at the bigger picture. The construction of all the equipment used fossil fuels. The transportation of the equipment to the locations used fossil fuels. The money to fund the project came from tax dollars which were stolen from we the people who originally produced those dollars using fossil fuels. The same can be said for all those windmills and solar panels.

george e. smith
Reply to  Tom in Florida
February 18, 2016 10:57 am

Well it’s for damn sure that we would never have gotten here with just the renewable free clean green energy obtained from clambering around in fig trees, like our ancestors did.
G

Owen in GA
Reply to  seaice1
February 17, 2016 8:29 am

That hydro power did not forge the components or lift them into place or transport them from foundry to install point or mine the raw material or smelt the metals or make the concrete or…
It does a nice job of powering the laser, vacuum pumps and detection and analysis equipment though.

Jay Hope
Reply to  seaice1
February 18, 2016 1:01 am

Well said, Westhaver. 🙂

AndyE
February 17, 2016 5:21 am

Yes, the whole thing is an absolute delight to contemplate. It is a fantastic experiment – it is admirable that such expensive experiment could be funded. Watch for the Nobel prize coming.
And I hadn’t thought of the importance of reliable energy. Thanks, Anthony

george e. smith
Reply to  AndyE
February 18, 2016 11:14 am

Well Nobel prizes can be given (each year) to no more than three persons, for each prize; the ArafaGorBama prize excluded.
So who among the 1,000 authors gets the prize ??
I nominate one Albert Einstein, for the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of Gravitational Waves.
OOoops ! The recipient has to be present to win. Well can they make an exception because the evidence took a billion and a half years to get here.
Bob Noyce was denied the Nobel Prize in Physics for the invention of the Integrated circuit, by not being here to get it. The person who did get it, Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments; invented an integrated circuit like my MIL invents a soup. She makes multiple ingredients at the same time, all in the same pot connected by water.
Kilby made more than one transistor at a time, which was SOP at the time, making wafers of transistors, but instead of cutting them apart, and then wiring them together, he just left them together on the wafer, and soldered wires from one to another. An ersatz IC if there ever was one.
So once again, Einstein will not receive his due for his discovery.
G

Reply to  george e. smith
February 18, 2016 12:45 pm

G,
Isn’t it like that a lot? Marty Feldman was denied the award for Best Supporting Actor for his part in Young Frankenstein. ☹

Reply to  george e. smith
February 18, 2016 12:56 pm

Big G might not be familiar with Marty Feldman

Peta in Cumbria
February 17, 2016 5:27 am

Slightly OT but don’t worry about waking up in the middle of the night.
I’m coming to understand through real-life experience that is The Norm and absolutely fine.
It is well documented from old (Middle Age) legal and other documents that talk about ‘Firste Sleepe and Second Sleepe.
People would regularly do it and often called round on their neighbours who were likewisw wide awake at 3 or 4 in the morning.
To my mind and experience (no alcohol and low carb hi fat diet), the thing about 8 hours minimum of solid sleep is quite wrong. Such sleep is brought on by, if not alcohol, the depressant effect of sugar and carbohydrate. They effectively knock you out.
When you do rise from your ‘second sleep’, you are straight away wide awake & ready to go and not bleary-eyed and shuffling after cups of coffee to wake you up. Coffee in fact will give you what can only be described as a hang-over- assuming the carbs from yesterday didn’t do that already.
This 8-hour sleep routine is one more Urban Myth, just like cAGW and CO2 and when repeated often enough it becomes= The Truth.

Unmentionable
Reply to  Peta in Cumbria
February 17, 2016 5:42 am

Wow, some dietary prejudice and random beverage advice in here, with the gospel according to St. Sleepy Sod, to go with the gravy waves and black impossibles to see. Gee, thanks.

Marcus
Reply to  Unmentionable
February 17, 2016 6:02 am

..Wow, and here I thought I was sarcastic !! LOL

February 17, 2016 6:21 am

Astonishingly in this second LIGO thread the arguments from ignorance and incredulity still abound. I would have thought that in the interval between the two threads the witch doctors might have gone and done a little homework – but I guess not.
For those who think it is likely that the perturbation in the signal over background was merely random I would bring two points to their attention. Firstly, the form of the signal is very close to exactly what is predicted by a theory which is one of the most exhaustively tested and confirmed physical theories of all time. One which is now so well confirmed that it is used in everyday engineering such as GPS and in more exotic applications like inserting space probes into orbit around outer gas giant moons. Secondly, the same – to a high degree of accuracy – signal was observed at two widely separated locations with an appropriate luminal delay between observations.
For those who think the coincidence of making this observation so soon after firing up the upgraded system is just too much to be believed, I’ll offer this small analogy. This is equivalent to going outside on a clear night from a brightly lit room and gazing heavenwards only to see no stars. This is the pre-upgrade LIGO analogy. Now as we stand there looking up, our night vision starts to kick in which means that the photon sensitivity of our eyes is increasing. At some point in this process a star pops out of the blackness and then another and another … of ever decreasing absolute magnitude and so on as the night vision gain of our eyes is cranked up. That is pretty much what is happening with LIGO. With each increase in sensitivity the instruments are incorporating ever greater volumes of space over which they have sufficient sensitivity to detect certain events and these volumes scale with the cube of the sensitivity increases. In addition the magnitude of the events which it is capable of detecting gets progressively smaller within the nearer volumes. Therefore each sensitivity increase represents an enormously increased probability of making a detection of events which are inescapable consequences of general relativity . It is absolutely not very surprising that with this latest significant gain increase a detection was quickly made. Great, and doubtless serendipitous, that it panned out that way on an instrument workup dress rehearsal though not an amazing coincidence at all but more of a tribute to the engineers who worked so hard to make that possible.
LIGO represents some of the most sublime science and engineering every contemplated by the human mind and has been running under the auspices of luminaries such as Kip Thorne for two and a half decades now without success. In this the moment of final vindication and massive future promise of such a huge effort by so many dedicated professionals I find it at once both vaguely funny and yet immeasurably sad to see some of the responses here. Please understand that LIGO has as much similarity to CAGW climate science as the large hadron collider has to ouija.

John Loop
Reply to  cephus0
February 17, 2016 6:53 am

Bravo cephus0. Well put. I think the rabid blathering blogosphere has found and invaded Anthony’s blog. Arg…. More noise to filter out of my life.

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  cephus0
February 17, 2016 9:50 am

ceppus0, What is you real name?
1) Firstly, the form of the signal is very close to exactly what is predicted by a theory …. that in itself is not a proof. In fact, I see that as one of the troubling aspects. Why so few? There should be trillions of them…like the visible stars.
2) Secondly, the same – to a high degree of accuracy – signal was observed at two widely separated locations with an appropriate luminal delay between observations.
Appropriate luminal delay? Based on what assumption?
2 of the the same may also be evidence of a design feature or a terrestrial source.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
February 17, 2016 11:16 am

Paul, I prefer anonymity for discussions like this if you don’t mind. I treat such discussions as seminars and in a seminar names, titles, qualifications, publication history, egos and so forth are totally irrelevant. Only what is presented is important. In a seminar if the lay pensioner pushing the tea trolley asks a question and the Prof cannot provide a satisfactory answer – then that eminent Prof is in trouble.
1) I did not say that the form of the signal is a proof. You may or may not know that there are no such things as proofs in science, although there most certainly are disproofs. Proofs only exist in mathematics and formal logic etc. where we make the rules. We do not make the rules for the natural Universe so all we can do is allocate probabilities of truth based on the evidence before us. Now a chirp is a wonderful thing and is fortunately also an exceeding rare thing in the natural world, at least outside of the realm of echolocating creatures anyway, so the fact that this observed signal has the form of a chirp – which is incidentally precisely what is predicted by one of our most powerful physical theories – is very, very strong evidence indeed in support of the interpretation of this event as a binary black hole coalescence.
Why so few? How do you know it’s so few? They’ve only just switched the damned thing on! Give them half a chance would you? If you had a radio receiver with a crappy antenna and you’d been sitting there listening to static for a decade or so you might think about going out and buying a decent antenna which you retrofit to your radio. If you then switched on for a few seconds, caught a couple of bars of Bing Crosby singing White Christmas and then switched off again, would you subsequently be sitting there ruefully rubbing your chin and wondering why so few Bings? Pray do not be so ridiculous!
2) The assumption is that general relativity is correct in its prediction that gravitational waves will propagate at light speed. This isn’t too wild of an assumption since there are no observed exceptions to the predictions of general relativity in a full century of looking for them very, very hard indeed.
3) No. The same may not also be evidence of a design feature or terrestrial source. They thought about that you see at the design stage and in order to eliminate objections such as yours here went to the colossal expense and bother of building two of them at widely separated locations. The odds against a design feature/bug generating virtually identical signals – which just so happen to be precisely what general relativity predicts for binary black hole coalescence and at different locations with an appropriate time delay between the two which is also accounted for by general relativity – are so infinitesimally small as to be negligible.
If you wish to propose a terrestrial mechanism to account for this twin detection then away you go and a Nobel prize assuredly awaits you should you succeed.

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
February 17, 2016 12:46 pm

The burden of proof is not on me or anyone else to disprove the theory. You have the scientific method turned on it’s head. The burden of proof lies with the chief investigators of record to show that a binary black hole did collapse into one… somewhere since they are so abundant… and that the signal was not a consequence of something, anything else.
Not my job. That is their job. You should know that.
Since this fundamental concept of science escapes you I suspect that you may not make science your occupation. That is why I asked your name. I thought you just may be a troll begging attention.
Proofs in science are in the form of an abundance of evidence, which is why I call for corroboration by competitive labs. A single signal does not a theory prove. BTW you did say “most exhaustively tested and confirmed physical theories” ……in my mind confirmed = proved.
Back peddle away from your words obscured by your alias if you need to.
Also, yes, they just switched the thing on and they should have been more cautious about proclaiming a proof without an abundance of evidence. A UN CAGW-esque funding ploy.
No I am not satisfied that they did consider all terrestrial sources and space sources other than the abundant yet so rare, binary black hole collapse and null all ALL of them out and prove that they nulled ALL of them out and invite competitive laboratories to offer appropriate criticism.
I understand the need to pile on and cheer on and make celebrity and heros. It is a common human need. All of this depends on faith. Faith in the unseen object in the sky that does what man wants it to do. Bullying by the priests and proselytizers of the new holy discovery is not science.
In 1998 two independent projects, the Supernova Cosmology Project and the High-Z Supernova Search Team simultaneously obtained results suggesting a totally unexpected acceleration in the expansion of the universe by using distant type Ia supernovae as standard candles. This is highly credible because 2 competitive teams got unexpected and similar results.
Since you want to remain anonymous and are shakey ground with respect to the scientific process I will not humor any more trolling. Good day.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
February 17, 2016 12:50 pm

Not my job. That is their job.
And they performed their job admirably.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
February 17, 2016 1:01 pm

OMG lol. Hate to say this but – it’s worse than I thought 🙂

seaice1
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
February 18, 2016 1:37 am

Now, I have heard that “it is not my job to demonstrate that” argument before somewhere…

Mike
Reply to  cephus0
February 17, 2016 10:03 am

Beautifully stated! I actually get a little emotional when contemplating the “gravity” of this discovery! Your elegant tribute to the engineering and science is warmly welcomed.
To those skeptics of this science, PLEASE go spend a few minutes surveying the CalTech LIGO site https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/page/ligo-technology and marvel at the absolutely incredible engineering involved. All your silly notions about aberrant vibrations etc will be quashed.
It really is breathtaking..

george e. smith
Reply to  Mike
February 18, 2016 12:09 pm

Yes wherever cephus0 hangs his hat, I hope he visits here often.
We are talking about the positive isolation of signals that agree almost completely (remarkably well in my view) to something calculated mathematically from a theory presented 100 years ago, that we already rely on for valuable daily information (the GPS system).
As I read the paper, the theoretical signals, are separately calculated for each of the two LIGO sites, and the isolated received signal at each site is a very good time resolved match to the calculated expected signal at that site, and then the time shifted signals from the two sites agree with the expected velocity of light propagation times for the purported Gravitational Waves, for a source in the sky region where the collision evidently took place.
So this is not any juggling act until the balls all come down in some order. It’s a clear case, where actual experimental observations agree extremely well with a postulated theoretical event that Einstein’s theory is capable of mathematically computing
As I have stated many times mathematics is pure fiction; we made it all up in our heads. But we can use it to describe pretty much exactly the expected behavior of our (also fictional) MODELS of what we think the real universe is like. And we create our models based on what experimental observations show and tell us, that the real physical universe seems to be doing.
The mathematics has no connection to the real universe, none of it is observable anywhere. But it does perfectly describe our models, which is why we made it all up in the first place.
We can twiddle the knobs on our model and calculate what will happen (or should happen).
We can’t twiddle anything on the real universe; just observe it. But our models give us some ideas on what else might be out there to observe once we figure out how.
We suddenly (well not all that sudden) have discovered a new ” entertainment medium ” just like radio or TV or even the internet, that we will be able to use to look for a whole bunch of new things about which we currently have no idea.
It’s like having a whole flock of new bands on your short wave radio.
I have always felt sorry for the bulk of those persons, who don’t understand, just what the manned moon expedition added to our knowledge, and how it benefits all of us. As a silicon valley participant, I’m also sorry for those who cannot ken just what all goes on in this place; it is truly mind boggling. Just yesterday, while driving my wife to a part of San Jose, that I never visit, we found (by mistake) a single large building complex, that had on it side by side by side, the placards, and offices for about 200 individual businesses, about half of them high tech, and none of which I have ever heard of.
So for those of you who can’t grasp ANY element of this amazing new revelation, well my sorrow turns to real pity.
I can only caution you to not walk off a cliff, or onto a railway track, while playing around aimlessly with your finger toys.
G

beng135
Reply to  cephus0
February 18, 2016 9:42 am

cephus0, +1000

george e. smith
Reply to  cephus0
February 18, 2016 11:31 am

I have NO basic fingertip understanding of how to manipulate the mathematics of Einstein General Relativity, to describe the expected behavior of ” black holes”, nor to describe the behavior of Gravitational waves caused by the collision of two such objects, but apparently quite a lot of people can actually do that.
And they have as a result calculated what should happen if a black hole (A) of mass M1 collides with a black hole (B) of mass M2 after approaching each other under the influence of (Einstein) gravitation, and thus deduced what the generated gravitational wave signal would be.
So these guys received a signal; apparently from some previously perceived black holes, and were able to fit the M1 and M2 values to the mathematical calculations to find what A and B must be.
Now if Einstein was all wet, and there’s no such thing as Einstein gravity; Newton Rocks, and Einstein’s whatever is something else; well then these folks clearly have discovered an instance of whatever it is that Einstein’s theory predicted.
But given that Einstein’s “whatever” seems to look like gravity in some other predicted ways; why complicate the picture in the Occam sense, and insist that these aren’t just very ordinary Einstein gravitational waves, which is what he chose to call them.
Why insist on calling a spade, a shovel, or denying that spades even exist.
G
PS Yes I do have quite a bit of fingertip understanding of how the LIGO works, but not in all details. The resolution still astonishes me, but not to the point of incredulity.

David A
Reply to  george e. smith
February 19, 2016 5:09 am

George, does this instrument record signals all the time which must be eliminated to find that which remains?
I have little doubt, although I mention a couple of possibilities here… http://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/02/17/the-detection-of-gravitational-waves-a-triumph-of-science-enabled-by-fossil-fuels/comment-page-1/#comment-2148879 …that the signal shown is remarkable. I am trying to understand what was actually (not theoretically) eliminated at each site to get the signal that remained, and to understand if other conditions, terrestrial or astronomical, could cause such an event of similar size and timing at two locations.
I have mentioned that we may be detecting vibrations we have never considered, seismic affects on earth’s crust magnitudes smaller then what any seismograph can detect, coming from lunar forces, coming from land deformation from atmospheric changes. Conventional earthquakes are the result of stress, prior to the release the stress is there and building in micro movements, perhaps thousands or millions or billions or trillions of micro movements go into the larger quakes detected by seismographic instruments, but are too fine for those instruments, but perhaps not too fine for this instrument. Could such a micro quake, located between two LIGO sites, produce a graphic of similar magnitude, duration and timing between the recordings.? is this even a reasonable question?

Alan Ranger
Reply to  cephus0
February 19, 2016 3:48 pm

@cephus0
“Astonishingly in this second LIGO thread the arguments from ignorance and incredulity still abound. I would have thought that in the interval between the two threads the witch doctors might have gone and done a little homework – but I guess not.”
Well summarized. I injected a few facts into the first thread, for the benefit of those obviously in total ignorance of black holes, relativity (GR & SR) and quantum physics. But it seems the same brick walls here have not bothered to even try to actually learn anything. I was tempted to supplement some facts on Hawking radiation, black hole evaporation and information conservation. But I won’t bother now because I have high confidence that the futility factor will remain unchanged.
For the non-dogmatic sceptics, there is a pretty good summary on the confirmations of GR here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tests_of_general_relativity

February 17, 2016 6:22 am

[snip – you need a valid email to comment here harrydhuffman@twitter.example.com is not a valid email address -mod]

Phil Clarke
February 17, 2016 6:36 am

I note that according to the charts, less than half (47.2%) of the power across the 2 states comes from fossils, the rest is nuclear or renewables.

Marcus
Reply to  Phil Clarke
February 17, 2016 7:38 am

Hydro is not considered a renewable green energy by the fanatical green activists ! They don’t like dams because they actually work to provide cheap power !

dp
Reply to  Marcus
February 17, 2016 11:36 am

Hydro is actually defined as non-renewable so they can get federal money for being able to say X% of energy comes from renewables. It is a shameless scam. Because we have so much hydro here we’d never qualify for a position at the federal sow without the fabrication.

February 17, 2016 7:39 am

Black holes of about 30 earth mass size. Emmm……….. That is not logical. How can 30 Earth mass size result in a Black hole? I like the experiment and the public publishing of the results. The more I hear and think about the less I buy the conclusions…pg
[harrydhuffman referenced that “30 earth masses” erroneously in his snipped comment, the reality is 30 solar masses, per this sentence in the caption for the video “The signals came from two merging black holes, each about 30 times the mass of our sun, lying 1.3 billion light-years away.” – pay no attention to his claim -mod]

Marcus
Reply to  p.g.sharrow
February 17, 2016 7:50 am

30 Solar Masses

Reply to  Marcus
February 17, 2016 8:10 am

Ok, 30 Solar masses. Still seems to me to be too little to result in Black hole conditions.
I think that the definition of the occurrence that creates a “Black Hole” needs to be revisited…pg

Marcus
Reply to  Marcus
February 17, 2016 8:16 am

The lowest-mass known black hole belongs to a binary system named XTE J1650-500. The black hole has about 3.8 times the mass of our sun, and is orbited by a companion star, as depicted in this illustration.
Credit: NASA/CXC/A. Hobar
– See more at: http://www.space.com/5191-smallest-black-hole.html#sthash.EOJNl6LX.dpuf

Reply to  p.g.sharrow
February 17, 2016 8:03 am

In other words, you did not bother to even read the data provided openly at the LIGO website.

george e. smith
Reply to  Alain Dao
February 18, 2016 12:18 pm

I thought that the general physics of how neutron stars and black holes happen (under current theory) and the range of properties, size, mass, Temperature etc. was pretty much ho hum; which is not to say I understand it; I do have some of it in a book.
If you think 30 solar masses is not enough, then what exactly does your view of black holes think is a necessary and sufficient size to do this.
You can’t have an intelligent position on what is satisfactory, unless you already have some knowledge about what range can work.
G

beng135
Reply to  p.g.sharrow
February 18, 2016 9:45 am

p g sharrow
From a hundred solar-mass (or bigger) progenitor going supernovae.

Alan Ranger
Reply to  beng135
February 20, 2016 4:05 pm

See – Tolman–Oppenheimer–Volkoff limit
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolman%E2%80%93Oppenheimer%E2%80%93Volkoff_limit
“Often referred to as the Landau-Oppenheimer-Volkoff limit (or LOV limit), the Tolman–Oppenheimer–Volkoff limit (or TOV limit) is an upper bound to the mass of stars composed of neutron-degenerate matter (i.e. neutron stars). The TOV limit is analogous to the Chandrasekhar limit for white dwarf stars. It is approximately 1.5 to 3.0 solar masses corresponding to an original stellar mass of 15 to 20 solar masses.
In a neutron star less massive than the limit, the weight of the star is balanced by short-range repulsive neutron-neutron interactions mediated by the strong force and also by the quantum degeneracy pressure of neutrons, preventing collapse. If its mass is above the limit, the star will collapse to some denser form. It could form a black hole, or change composition and be supported in some other way (for example, by quark degeneracy pressure if it becomes a quark star). Because the properties of hypothetical, more exotic forms of degenerate matter are even more poorly known than those of neutron-degenerate matter, most astrophysicists assume, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that a neutron star above the limit collapses directly into a black hole.
A black hole formed by the collapse of an individual star must have mass exceeding the Tolman–Oppenheimer–Volkoff limit. Theory predicts that because of mass loss during stellar evolution, a black hole formed from an isolated star of solar metallicity can have a mass of no more than approximately 10 solar masses.[4]:Fig. 21 Observationally, because of their large mass, relative faintness, and X-ray spectra, a number of massive objects in X-ray binaries are thought to be stellar black holes. These black hole candidates are estimated to have masses between 3 and 20 solar masses.”
From there, the black hole can accrete material and grow to whatever mass you want.
Trivia: There is an upper limit to the mass of an elementary particle – the Planck mass – about the mass of a speck of dust. Beyond this you get a black hole. These are the kinds of micro black holes they (non-experts) waffle about being created in the Large Hadron Collider.

JohnTyler
February 17, 2016 7:56 am

How do the LIGO folks know that the earth’s crust did not just “burb,” which would cause an instantaneous change in the distance to the mirrors from their light source/ beam splitter and thus cause the “anomalous” interference pattern?
After all, earth is always active – seismically speaking, even though the vast majority of time this activity cannot be felt (or measured with standard seismic measurement devices?) .
The strain measurements – on the order of 10 ^ (-21) are so infinitesimally small – that it seems a stronger than normal eruption of the Yellowstone hot geysers (located about half way betwixt the LIGOR sites) could cause such small displacements in the earth’s crust.
Any help on this will be appreciated !!!

Reply to  JohnTyler
February 17, 2016 8:56 am

Sure thing John. Have a look at the form of the signals received at the two detectors separated by > 3,000 km http://www.drobnxs.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/LIGOsignals.png. Firstly note that they have the form of what is called a ‘chirp’, meaning the frequency of the signal is changing with time. Bats generate ultrasonic chirps for echolocation purposes and these are often of surprisingly complex form but in essence it means a short pulse of ultrasound which increases rapidly in frequency over a short time. The gravitational chirp detected at LIGO has a rising frequency – and amplitude – varying over a millisecond timescale and this is precisely what is predicted by general relativity for a pair of massive coalescing compact stellar objects like black holes or neutron stars.
In order for it to be a geological ‘burp’ you would need to hypothesise some geological process capable of generating a chirp signal like that and over such very short timescales. Beware here – rocks don’t generally do major bulk movements on millisecond time scales. Having done that you would then be faced with explaining how a signal which should propagate at sonic speed through the 3,000 km of intervening rock has managed to do so at light speed. Again – a tricky proposition.
I suggest that Occam’s razor demands that we go for now with an explanation which neatly fits all of the best theories we currently have along with the exquisitely accurate observations we now have to compare them against and note the precise match, rather than just making stuff up without any decent theory or supporting empirical evidence. The latter after all is the mainstay of CAGW climate science and we wouldn’t want any of that to rear its hideous head in astronomy now would we !?

JohnTyler
Reply to  cephus0
February 17, 2016 12:41 pm

To Cephus0:
Thank you for your response !!
My question was motivated purely by my ignorance; in no way was I suggesting that the LIGO results were wrong or some sort of misrepresentation, intentional or otherwise.
At least there are some scientists who actually use and believe in the scientific method; they actually carry out a real experiment and compare it to theory. What a novel idea.
Maybe these LIGO folks can “move over” into the science of terrestrial climate; at least we would see some honest work. .
Thanks again.

george e. smith
Reply to  cephus0
February 18, 2016 12:27 pm

So a gravitational ” chirp ” is just like a whistler, howler, dawn chorus, or similar lightning triggered radio atmospheric signal is ? I just need to buy myself a new gravitational ” radio ” so I can listen to some new music myself ! So this really IS an entirely new ” informational communicational ” medium, with a whole huge bandwidth to explore.
Seems like I need to find a GR gravitation book, to try and understand how they even calculate such behavior.
G

David A
Reply to  cephus0
February 19, 2016 5:31 am

Cephus says,
=========================================================================
“Beware here – rocks don’t generally do major bulk movements on millisecond time scales. Having done that you would then be faced with explaining how a signal which should propagate at sonic speed through the 3,000 km of intervening rock has managed to do so at light speed. Again – a tricky proposition.
============================================================================
In my comment above I address some of this..
“I have mentioned that we may be detecting vibrations we have never considered, seismic affects on earth’s crust magnitudes smaller then what any seismograph can detect, coming from lunar forces, coming from land deformation from atmospheric changes. Conventional earthquakes are the result of stress, prior to the release the stress is there and building in micro movements, perhaps thousands or millions or billions or trillions of micro movements go into the larger quakes detected by seismographic instruments, but are too fine for those instruments, but perhaps not too fine for this instrument. Could such a micro quake, located BETWEEN two LIGO sites, making light speed unnecessary as we would then be measuring the arrival time distance, not the wave propagation speed, (Or coming from land deformation resulting from Lunar induced movements) which could possibly produce a graphic of similar magnitude, duration and timing between the recordings.? is this even a reasonable question?”
These micro quakes must exist. Their frequency must be quite common as millions of events must go into the formation of a larger conventional quake. The duration and wavelength of such tiny movements must be far smaller then conventional quakes and of immense variety and timing. These two instruments may be the only instruments capable of such detections. These micro quake movements may, like conventional movements, happen in their own time, not resulting when the stress or lunar force first acts upon the earth, but when the tiny energy release happens within the earth. Suppose millions of these micro movements happen, then the chances that one may mimic the expected result greatly increase, and we simply data mined for that result.
What signals were eliminated at each site to leave the discovery graphic represented? What is the error margin for the adjustments made? Did the initial movements recorded at the time look anything like what is left? BTW, I think the results may well be solid, but truth is not afraid of questions?

Steve Fraser
Reply to  JohnTyler
February 17, 2016 9:06 am

…distances are wrong in the Yellowstone example. The propagation delay measured by the instruments would need a specific combination of distances and wave transmission characteristics for the measured delay to occur. When the 3rd system comes online, much better source location triangulation should be possible.

deebodk
Reply to  JohnTyler
February 17, 2016 9:10 am

They’ve apparently thought of or know every possible cause of such an infinitesimally small perturbation and we should trust in their reassurance that it is most definitely from two black holes colliding 1.3 billion light years away 1.3 billion years ago.
How much doubt have these scientists cast on their findings like any good scientist should?

Reply to  deebodk
February 17, 2016 9:26 am

deebodk I don’t know what you mean. Once again, not “AN infinitesimally small perturbation” but “TWO infinitesimally small perturbations” separated by the confirmatory light speed governed time interval. They have taken a full six months from observation to announcement in order to check every conceivable thing they possibly could. At the end of all of that they are left with a superbly clear observation matching a likewise clear prediction of no lesser theory than general relativity. What exactly more is it you are wanting them to do? There is a fine line between honest informed skepticism and just plain willful donkeyism. If everyone were to proceed according to your specifications we’d still be sitting around waiting for an apple to fall skywards out of a tree.

Reply to  deebodk
February 17, 2016 2:38 pm

…black holes colliding 1.3 billion light years away 1.3 billion years ago.
Redundant, no?

Reply to  JohnTyler
February 17, 2016 9:11 am

Oh and one more thing. The most significant problem in this kind of work is signal to noise ratio which means that you have to keep the noise in the equipment down to a level where you can see the desired signal above the background noise. They are well aware of seismic noise along with all manner of other sources of noise and the seismic vibration damping mechanisms and detection and elimination protocols are quite breathtakingly sophisticated and effective.

eajohnson
Reply to  JohnTyler
February 17, 2016 9:39 am

I am not a physicist but I have visited the Hanford LIGO facility and talked with the scientists there. They have public tours and lectures every now and then. They have been running the facility at lower sensitivities for many years and have used that time to detect and identify effects from small earthquakes, wind, human acitivity etc. I was told that the ocean waves hitting the Pacific coast of the US can be detected as well as trucks hitting the expansion joints on the Interstate located a few miles away. They know what these signals look like and have been very careful to identify them and eliminate them.
But more than that, to be identified as a gravity wave the detection must be identical and must occur at the same time (taking in to account the time it takes to get from one detector to the other at the speed of light) in BOTH of the detectors (Washington and Louisiana).
By combining the nature of the signal with the timing of detections at both facilities small earthquakes and other spurious signals can be identified and eliminated.
Having visited and talked to the staff at Hanford I am pretty certain that the detections are from gravity waves. That they found signals so soon after upgrading the sensitivity is like getting a pair of glasses and suddenly being able to read. Galileo found the moons around Jupiter and the phases of Venus soon after acquiring a telescope–he hadn’t the sensitivity of detection to do that before the instrument was developed.
Time will tell of course, but I don’t think this is any “rush to a Nobel”. This is a discovery that has taken decades to achieve.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  eajohnson
February 17, 2016 10:26 am

Not gravity waves, but gravitational waves. There is a difference.

David A
Reply to  eajohnson
February 19, 2016 5:47 am

Regarding this…
====================================================================
“But more than that, to be identified as a gravity wave the detection must be identical and must occur at the same time (taking in to account the time it takes to get from one detector to the other at the speed of light) in BOTH of the detectors (Washington and Louisiana).”
==================================================================
Yet the actual speed of the wave causing this signal is not known, as the angle of the incoming wave is not known. Leif actually acknowledged this on the other thread. I quote him here, http://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/02/14/a-triumph-of-science-first-detection-of-the-gravitational-wave/#comment-2146306
So it occurred within the RANGE of light speed and is assumed to have traveled at light speed because that is the theory. Now of course the angle or direction can then be somewhat computed from the actual recorded interval, (ignoring other possibilities) but triangulation from a third or fourth source would help tremendously.
Now we actually have bi-angulation only.. (-;

indefatigablefrog
February 17, 2016 8:00 am

I always felt that MSM discussion of CERN was a little too thick on the activities of “string theorists” and thin on the hard work (and often the practical problem solving genius) of the engineering side of the operation.
Here, for the sake of balance is a nice straight forward (some may say,boring, but not me.) article reporting the expansion of the electrical supply side to TWO 100 MEGAWATT transformers.
Question: How many huge 1 megawatt wind turbines or vast 1megawatt solar parks would it take to reliably source 100 megawatt of grid power.
Answer: Ahahaha – trick question. It can’t be done. Hydro and Biomass (and maybe Geothermal) are the only renewables which could ever perform such a task.
“The 400 kV substation on the Prévessin site brings in the electricity that powers CERN’s accelerators and the majority of the Laboratory’s installations. It was originally built in the 1970s for the SPS, and is one of only five privately owned 400 kV sub-stations in France. Three of the others belong to the national railway company, SNCF, supplying the Paris-Marseilles TGV line, the other is at the Cadarache research centre near mouth of the Rhone. After nearly thirty years of service, CERN’s substation has just undergone a complete overhaul.
The electricity supply for the original Prévessin substation was from the 400 kV EDF network, delivered through three 90 MW transformers at 18 kV to the SPS pulsed network, With the arrival of LEP, two 110 MW transformers were added to supply the new accelerator. ”
https://cds.cern.ch/record/45207?ln=en

Marcus
Reply to  indefatigablefrog
February 17, 2016 8:18 am

.. indefatigablefrog, do you happen to know if there is a limit to the amount of power they can use ?

Marcus
Reply to  Marcus
February 17, 2016 8:19 am

…At CERN…

indefatigablefrog
Reply to  Marcus
February 17, 2016 8:32 am

Well, they have to shut down the LHC every winter and start it up in spring, due to its vast power needs.
Here is the CERN resource with further information on their power requirements and the tech. challenge of reliably delivering that power:
http://home.cern/about/engineering/powering-cern

Marcus
Reply to  Marcus
February 17, 2016 8:54 am

..Thanks..

February 17, 2016 8:23 am

lsvalgaard
February 17, 2016 at 7:52 am
“Has nothing to do with the event horizon. Even the Earth in orbit around the Sun emits 200 Watt as gravitational waves.”
So to what % has LIGO reliably verified said 200 WATT or any other gravitational waves?

Reply to  1gr8world
February 17, 2016 8:38 am

LIGO cannot detect such small GWs. It takes very strong gravitational fields [e.g. black holes] to generate detectable GWs.

Reply to  lsvalgaard
February 17, 2016 2:41 pm

But… but… they’re being emitted 1.3 billion light years away. Does the inverse square law apply? If so, it seems that 200 Watts from eight light minutes away should be detectable.
I’m being serious, and I think you’re the best one to ask.

Reply to  dbstealey
February 17, 2016 2:43 pm

Compared to the solar output of 3.846×10^26 W?

ferdberple
Reply to  lsvalgaard
February 17, 2016 5:51 pm

Compared to the solar output of 3.846×10^26 W?
============
200 w of gravity waves at a distance of 8 light minutes is the equivalent of 1.5 * 10 ^26 watts of gravity waves at a distance of 1.3 billion light years by my quick calculation.
It seems a rather amazing co-incidence that this would match the solar output so closely. To even be within the same order of magnitude is really bizarre.

Reply to  ferdberple
February 17, 2016 6:03 pm

The gravitational waves propagate mainly in the orbital plane, so you cannot use the inverse square law.

Reply to  lsvalgaard
February 17, 2016 7:17 pm

I thought the 200 Watts referred to gravitational energy, not EM.

Reply to  dbstealey
February 17, 2016 7:24 pm

The 200 Watt is gravitational wave energy, but if you want to measure that energy it is overwhelm by the EM energy. If you try to use something like LIGO which is 4 km long then you will intercept a 200 millionth of the 200 W or about 0.000001 Watt.

Reply to  lsvalgaard
February 17, 2016 7:32 pm

Thanks for that explanation, I get it now.

george e. smith
Reply to  lsvalgaard
February 18, 2016 12:44 pm

db
The ratio of the Coulomb (electrostatic) force (repulsive) to the gravitational force (sucks) between two electrons is about 10^41 or thereabouts.
Anywhere thereabouts is quite large. So gravity ” Really sucks ” which is why we will never have the energy of the stars down here on earth. But it sure works wonderfully out there in the big world where there is lots of room. Man is there ever a lot of room out there !
And the beauty of gravity powered stars, is that you couldn’t stop it if you wanted to. Just put enough mass of hydrogen in a small enough space, and it will just suck itself into the right configuration.
Truly marvelous is Gravitation
G

February 17, 2016 8:25 am

It may be of interest to examine the actual code used in the detection:
https://losc.ligo.org/s/events/GW150914/GW150914_tutorial.html

Marcus
Reply to  lsvalgaard
February 17, 2016 8:38 am

RE: ” We see that all keys have 32 seconds of ‘1’, ” …Hmmm…I see zero’s on 9th line ?
Contents of all the key, value pairs in chan_dict
NO_BURST_HW_INJ
[1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1]
NO_CBC_HW_INJ
[1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1]
CBC_CAT1
[1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1]
BURST_CAT2
[1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1]
BURST_CAT1
[1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1]
CBC_CAT2
[1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1]
DEFAULT
[1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1]
CBC_CAT3
[1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1]
NO_CW_HW_INJ
[0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0]
NO_STOCH_HW_INJ
[1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1]
NO_DETCHAR_HW_INJ
[1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1]
BURST_CAT3
[1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1]
DATA
[1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1]
We see that all keys have 32 seconds of ‘1’, meaning the data pass all data quality flags
and have no HW injections, except there are CW injections in L1.

Marcus
Reply to  Marcus
February 17, 2016 8:51 am

Or is – NO_CW_HW_INJ – a checksum line ?

JohnKnight
Reply to  lsvalgaard
February 18, 2016 2:16 pm

It’s a pulse, an impulse, or bleep, or a wiggle, I say. And I don’t a give crap what lsvalgaard demands I call it.

Alan Robertson
February 17, 2016 8:36 am

Just speculating…every elliptical galaxy either already has, or will eventually produce a pulse like this.

Reply to  Alan Robertson
February 17, 2016 9:24 am

This is not a pulse.

Reply to  lsvalgaard
February 17, 2016 9:37 am

and this is an impulse played backwards
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/Imp-bck.gif

Reply to  vukcevic
February 17, 2016 9:41 am

The LIGO signal is not a pulse. Take foot out of mouth, now.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  lsvalgaard
February 17, 2016 9:51 am

Right- not a pulse- will tighten up terminology.

February 17, 2016 9:14 am

here is a quick look at LIGO Livingston data
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LIGO-Liv.gif

Reply to  vukcevic
February 17, 2016 9:21 am

Double systems are very common.

Reply to  vukcevic
February 17, 2016 9:22 am

correction: Hanford data

Reply to  vukcevic
February 17, 2016 9:22 am

Count on Vuk to get things wrong, again.

GoatGuy
Reply to  lsvalgaard
February 17, 2016 2:31 pm

Really… you two ought not to bicker so much.
[Reply: Just like an old married couple. -mod]
However, in this case I agree with you: the LIGO signal is novel, is singular in its newly reincarnated ultra-sensitive state, and almost completely agrees with projections of what a similarly sized BH pair at the estimate distance might influence to the LIGO legs, here.
GoatGuy

Resourceguy
February 17, 2016 10:27 am

Real science gets expensive validation effort. Climate science gets the expense and expensive PR treatment.

Arnold Townsend
February 17, 2016 10:32 am

This is a milestone discovery. The accuracy needed to tickle out the results is mind-numbing but what truly boggles the mind is the amount of energy released by that event. The model of that merger indicates energy just in the form of gravitational waves was greater than the energy from all the stars in the universe (for that time interval).
Impossible to wrap one’s mind around.

Jarryd Beck
February 17, 2016 11:05 am

It’s models all the way down…

bit chilly
Reply to  Jarryd Beck
February 17, 2016 1:18 pm

i think there is a vast difference between models designed for a different purpose then bastardised for climate simulations where they are not fit for that purpose vs mathematical models designed specifically for the task in hand .
really looking forward to seeing this project expand when the european facility comes on line.

Jarryd Beck
Reply to  bit chilly
February 17, 2016 2:14 pm

The black hole itself is a model. Just recently a few papers have been published, including one by Stephen Hawking, saying that the event horizon does not work. This stuff is unverifiable, so who knows what else they got wrong.
A meaningless explanation for a meaningless problem that they could have solved by realising that electricity is important.

February 17, 2016 11:08 am
Marcus
Reply to  lsvalgaard
February 17, 2016 11:31 am

Wow, those Gravitational Waves must have really warped our space/time…the pdf is dated…262 | NATURE | VOL 530 | 18 FEBRUARY 2016….weird..LOL

Marcus
Reply to  Marcus
February 17, 2016 11:37 am

Oh wait, never mind, I forgot you don’t get humor !!

Reply to  lsvalgaard
February 17, 2016 2:07 pm

Here is another good explanation:
http://www.physicsmatt.com/blog/2016/2/11/ligopalooza

Berényi Péter
February 17, 2016 12:01 pm

If the event happened 1.3 billion ly away and 3 solar masses were converted to gravitational waves in 0.1 second, then power flux density of radiation here was 2.8 mW/m², which is huge. EM radiation power flux density is about the same 0.1 ly away from the Sun, which would make it very visible.
That’s how hard to detect gravitational waves.
The event delivered 360 GW to Earth for 0.1 seconds, next to none of it was absorbed.
However, I wonder what would happen, if it occurred nearby, let’s say 1300 ly away. In that case power flux density of gravitational radiation would be a trillion times higher, that is, 2.8 GW/m². Which is 2 million times more than power flux density of EM insolation at ToA. If only a tiny fraction of it gets absorbed, we are doomed indeed. Is the universe that dangerous a place after all?

Reply to  Berényi Péter
February 17, 2016 12:09 pm

It is very possible that the Universe is a dangerous place. A nearby Gamma Ray Burster would also sterilize the Earth. Perhaps the dangerous and violent Universe explains why Extraterrestrial Life has not been detected: We are alone.

Reply to  lsvalgaard
February 17, 2016 12:22 pm

And very likely a gamma burst was observed http://gammaray.nsstc.nasa.gov/gbm/publications/preprints/gbm_ligo_preprint.pdf as the result of this GW-event. It’s NOT due to the BH-collision itself ( no ecelctromagnetic waves can escape) but due to the impulse rising horizon with a sudden inflow of i