back to article The Register Lecture: Great gravitational waves! LIGO's next cosmic act

If you think the revolution in our understanding of the final frontier ignited by the discovery of gravitational waves in 2015 is over - think again. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and interferometer pal Virgo caused a sensation when a team of more than 900 scientists detected gravitational …

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

If you want to see the lighter side of LIGO from a student's point of view, you mighth want to check out her web comics Anti Matter. This one is a favourite.

Miss Config

Computing Power

Mark will talk super black holes, neutron stars and the type of software modelling that enables you to peek deeper into the unknown universe.

And this being The Reg,, discuss the amount of computing power needed to do that. Supercomputers ?

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Computing Power

The main part is time difference of arrival, which hardly requires supercomputers. Next step is to determine the masses involved, and for that you look at the ringing (amplitude and frequency), and that probably requires serious simulation work.

Destroy All Monsters
Silver badge

Re: Computing Power

Actually you have to simulate your merger with various parameters until you find a good match for the signal. A way to properly compute this was only discovered in the last 5 years so as I remember from an article, maybe on Quanta Mag.

evilbob thebob

I remember as an astronomy undergrad in Cardiff 5 years ago always being so skeptical of the gravitational wave group, always saying "this year we'll make the detection!" Well, they've made me eat my words. Hats off to them!

Silver badge

I actually advised my godson (also a physicist) not to go into gravitational waves as the consortium had not detected anything in 30 years and who know if they ever would. He did not follow my advice and is one of the 1000+ authors of the papers the Nobel Prize was given for.

Good for him!

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