DEC 26, 2018 7:17 PM PST

Are LIGO's Gravitational Wave Detections Real?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Albert Einstein first theorized about the existence of gravitational waves in 1916, and physicists have been on an endless scavenger hunt to observe them ever since.

Scientists with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) first publicized the detection of gravitational waves in 2015, and they’ve reported several additional detections since the first. Unfortunately, not everyone’s convinced that these detections were gravitational waves.

LIGO is comprised of two separate detectors that are a full continent away from one another. The distance between both detectors ensures that background noise doesn’t interfere with data collection because sounds or vibrations on one continent surely wouldn’t exist on another. But is that enough to fill the margin of error?

Other scientists not associated with LIGO have attempted to validate the observatory’s findings using different detection methods and weren’t as successful. Upon confronting LIGO about it, scientists at the observatory firmly maintained that its detections were genuine and that detecting gravitational waves was an incredibly complex process.

Given the inability to reproduce these results outside of LIGO’s walls, it’s logical to be skeptical of the findings. Unfortunately, it remains unclear as to whether LIGO detected gravitational waves or if it was something else, and this uncertainty isn’t good for science.

If we’re lucky, then perhaps some clarity into the matter will present itself sooner rather than later.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
NOV 05, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 05, 2019
New Technologies Are Headed for the International Space Station
Space is hard, and for that reason, researchers are always trying to come up with new ways to make it easier. One of the best places for new technologies t...
DEC 19, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 19, 2019
The Science Behind Christmas
The holiday season is upon us, and to wrap-up the year and get you into the holiday spirit, we are dedicating the last infographic to Christmas. After all, what's a better way to celebrate...
DEC 23, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 23, 2019
Why NASA's Artemis Mission is So Important
If you’ve been following NASA, then you’ve undoubtedly heard about the American space agency’s Artemis mission. Artemis is all about laun...
MAR 06, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
MAR 06, 2020
Father of the Dyson Sphere Passed Away
Last Friday, February 28, 2020, the world said goodbye to Freeman Dyson, was a British American physicist and mathematician, who is also known for his thou...
MAR 10, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 10, 2020
NASA's OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Inadvertently Discovered a Black Hole
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission, a short and sweet acronym for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer, was...
MAR 23, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 23, 2020
Here's Why the Planets Orbit the Sun How They Do
All the solar system’s planets follow nearly the same plane and direction as they orbit the Sun, and this is something that has fascinated astronomer...
Loading Comments...