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Confused about LIGO

  1. Sep 16, 2013 #1

    wolram

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    Gold Member

    From WIKI,

    In February 2007, GRB 070201, a short gamma-ray burst, arrived at Earth from the direction of the Andromeda Galaxy, a nearby galaxy. The prevailing explanation of most short gamma-ray bursts is the merger of a neutron star with either a neutron star or black hole. LIGO reported a non-detection for GRB 070201, ruling out a merger at the distance of Andromeda with high confidence

    How can a none detection rule out anything, it may be that the detector was not working?
    If a gravitational wave was not detected may be there are none to be detected.

    I know that advanced LIGO will not be online until 2014 so what will happen if this new LIGO has null results?

    I find it hard to imagine space ringing like a bell as some one once said, it seems in my humble opinion to be none intuitive .
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 16, 2013 #2

    mfb

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    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    It can rule out something on the basis of general relativity. General relativity could be wrong, but as far as I know, there is no viable alternative which does not include gravitational waves.

    Then we'll need something completely new in some way (assuming the detector works properly).

    Physics is often counter-intuitive, and there are countless examples where this has been demonstrated.
     
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