152 pages | 28 B/W Illus.
The historic detection of gravitational waves on September 14, 2015, prompted by the highly energetic fusion of two black holes, has made events in the universe "audible" for the first time. This expansion of the scientific sensorium has opened a new chapter in astronomy and already led to, among others, fascinating new insights about the abundance of black holes, the collision of neutron stars, and the origin of heavy chemical elements.
The history of this event, which is epochal for physics, is reconstructed in this book, along with a walk-through of the main principles of how the detectors operate and a discussion of how the search for gravitational waves is conducted. The book concludes with an update of the latest detections and developments to date and a brief look into the future of this exciting research field.
This book is accessible to non-specialist readers from a general audience and is also an excellent introduction to the topic for undergraduates in physics.
Hartmut Grote is a Professor of physics at Cardiff University, UK. His main expertise is in experimental gravitational-wave physics and he has worked on building and improving gravitational wave detectors for over 20 years. From 2009 to 2017 he was the scientific leader of the British-German gravitational-wave detector GEO600.
Chapter 1. They Exist, They Don't Exist, They Exist
Chapter 2. They Exist, They don't Exist
Chapter 3. Michelson's Legacy: The Interferometer
Chapter 4. Interferometers: Around the World
Chapter 5. Data Analysis and Big Dog
Chapter 6. They Exist!
Chapter 7. Future Developments