GW170608 - Another Binary Black Hole Merger Observed

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Main Question or Discussion Point

On November 15, 2017, LIGO Scientific Collaboration announced the observation of another binary black hole coalescence. The gravitational waves were observed by the twin LIGO detectors on June 8, 2017. This is the lightest black hole binary observed so far, with component masses 12 and 7 times the mass of the sun.

The announcement news release-
LIGO and Virgo announce the detection of a black hole binary merger from June 8, 2017

The preprint of the paper-
GW170608: Observation of a 19-solar-mass Binary Black Hole Coalescence

 
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  • #2
Baluncore
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We live in interesting times. This certainly is big science. 1102 authors from 161 institutions, with the abstract starting at the bottom of page 6. GR has some curious effects, as two of the listed authors died after the initial event, but prior to the signal arrival and observation.
 
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  • #3
stefan r
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...two of the listed authors died after the initial event, but prior to the signal arrival and observation.
340 ±140MPc
At the low end, 200MPc. In 1364 Charles V became king of England. Isaac Newton was born at least 277 years later. All authors of modern physics papers have died or will die later than this event.
 
  • #4
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Just during the event time in Hanford was undergoing the maintenance work on the mirrors. This resulted in the minute-long stripe 19-23 Hz in the data records (figure below, left)
a2l-lho.png


The authors are sure that there is no connection to the gravitational wave signal. The right diagram is to prove this: There is a peak below 30Hz, otherwise the curve would run as always.

Let's look at the left panel again. Before the maintenance work we see the point-shaped fluctuations, which partly have the vertical - along the frequency – structure. And during the maintenance work it can be seen horizontal - along the time - noise lines (also in the frequency range above 30Hz). And this has obviously an aftermath: Hanford's Chirp is more than four times longer than Chirp by Livingston!

figure2.png


Even if we accept that the GW-event was real, the relativistic template may be wrong. The chirp from Hanford was probable elongated by the maintenance work. Clearly valid is only last 0.3 sec, where Hanford and Livingston chirps really match.

That's why I think that researchers should look for new relativistic template.

Best regards
Walter Orlov
 

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  • #5
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At the low end, 200MPc. In 1364 Charles V became king of England. Isaac Newton was born at least 277 years later. All authors of modern physics papers have died or will die later than this event.
200 megaparsec are about 600 million light years, light needs 600 million years to travel this distance. At the time these black holes actually merged there wasn't even life on land on Earth.

What comment #2 refers to is the time where the event was observed here on Earth, a few months ago. This is typically considered to be the time where events happen for practical reasons.
 
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  • #6
Al_
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after the initial event
But surely non-absolute simulteneity precludes such statements? At least, without some mention of the reference frame, such as our Sun, our galaxy, or the target's?
 
  • #7
Baluncore
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after the initial event,
But surely non-absolute simulteneity precludes such statements? At least, without some mention of the reference frame, such as our Sun, our galaxy, or the target's?
You quote me out of context;
...as two of the listed authors died after the initial event, but prior to the signal arrival and observation.
The "initial event" refers to the event that initiated the signals, the "signal arrival and observation" clearly refers to the observation at the observatory on Earth.

I have heard it said in reports on the investigation into falsified commercial documents, (cheques), that, “his signature on the more recent documents deteriorated in the years following his death”.

I would certainly be surprised to find my name attached as an author to a document that I could never have written, nor read and approved for publication.

Might one arbitrarily attach for example, Albert Einstein's or Isaac Newton's name as a co-author to a paper today, or would that require a declaration of approval, signed by the named omniscient prospective author, preferably prior to their death?

I understand the maxim “publish or perish” and accept that here on Earth, the date of publication must follow the date of the observation. But I think it is taking it a bit far to expect to reverse the perishing process that occurred prior to the observations, by publishing later.
 
  • #8
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These two authors still worked on building the detector, developing the analysis methods or whatever else they did. They contributed to the publication.
In particle physics, it is common that you are included in author lists after being member of the collaboration for some time (or after finishing some service task) - at that point you contributed to the overall work of the collaboration. After you leave the collaboration, you stay in the author lists for typically the same time - because your past contributions are still going into these publications. It doesn't matter if you live or not (don't cite this without its context).
 
  • #9
Baluncore
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I was trying to think of reasons that might explain or justify why there are posthumous authors listed. I would have expected previous work by deceased participants would be listed in the paper as an acknowledgement by the living authors, rather than by listing them as authors*, *(deceased).
Firstly; if their name was on the grant application then future funding of the project might require a unanimous publication by the same group without dissent. I believe that would be a dishonest use of their name.
Secondly; it might be alleged by colleagues that after death, the soul of a deeply religious scientist becomes omniscient and so intimately acquainted with events yet to be observed by their surviving colleagues on Earth. Obviously that could be extended to infinity to cover all future events, whenever or wherever. That would be unscientific since any intelligent feedback would require posthumous intellect and communication.
 
  • #10
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There is no such thing as "the grant application" for projects as large as LIGO, and the publication is not a grant application either.
Secondly; it might be alleged by colleagues that after death [...]
No one does that. Arguing against that isn't leading anywhere.
I would have expected previous work by deceased participants would be listed in the paper as an acknowledgement by the living authors
Why restrict this to deceased authors? Why not put ~99% of the collaboration in the acknowledgments? Only a small fraction of the collaboration is actually writing the text of the publication, but all of them contribute. It would be unfair to value writing an introduction for a paper higher than writing code that finds signals in the data, or managing the temperature of the system, or all the other tasks absolutely necessary to use the detector.
 
  • #11
Baluncore
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I once believed that the authors of a paper must approve any publication under their name. That has obviously now changed. If the term "authors" was replaced with the term "participants", the Science Citations Index would cease to track the involvement of the majority of researchers.
Why restrict this to deceased authors? Why not put ~99% of the collaboration in the acknowledgments?
Because it appears the naming of all participants as authors is being done primarily to generate entries in the citations index for the purpose of academic advancement.
 
  • #12
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I once believed that the authors of a paper must approve any publication under their name.
Implicit approval (you are author unless you ask to be removed) works better in large collaborations.
Because it appears the naming of all participants as authors is being done primarily to generate entries in the citations index for the purpose of academic advancement.
It is not. It is done because every other option would be even worse and wouldn't accurately reflect that everyone contributes their part. That practice has nothing to do with "academic advancement" as everyone* is aware that citation counts are meaningless for particle physicists and other fields with huge collaborations.

* everyone where it matters at least.
 
  • #14
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Going by these criteria and taken literally particle physics publications would not have any authors. The final approval is done by the spokesperson, who (with very rare exceptions) doesn't satisfy the other three criteria.
 
  • #15
Baluncore
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Going by these criteria and taken literally particle physics publications would not have any authors. The final approval is done by the spokesperson, who (with very rare exceptions) doesn't satisfy the other three criteria.
The spokesperson should speak to the public through the news media. Nowhere is it required that a spokesperson be one of the authors.
The scientific publication should be written and published under the names of the principal scientific investigators. Those authors alone can attest to and have responsibility for it's veracity.
 
  • #16
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Going by these criteria and taken literally particle physics publications would not have any authors. The final approval is done by the spokesperson, who (with very rare exceptions) doesn't satisfy the other three criteria.
That is interesting! I don’t think that there is a right or a wrong way to assign authorship, as long as the relevant community knows what it means and is consistent about it. I just didn’t know that the standards were so different.
 
  • #17
Baluncore
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Going by these criteria and taken literally particle physics publications would not have any authors. The final approval is done by the spokesperson, who (with very rare exceptions) doesn't satisfy the other three criteria.
With any major announcement there will be an embargo on public release of the news. The end of the news embargo and the release of the paper by the journal would need to be coordinated by the spokesperson.
The spokesperson speaks to the public through the press after triggering or coordinating the release of the information. As a spokesperson they do not have any say in the approval of content or the authorship of the paper. Authorship would have been agreed sometime earlier by the journal with the listed authors.
 
  • #18
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The scientific publication should be written and published under the names of the principal scientific investigators. Those authors alone can attest to and have responsibility for it's veracity.
See above, adding these people as authors technically violates the rules Dale linked, as these people don't make the final decision to publish it. If these rules would be followed by the letter in particle physics, the publications would not have any authors.

Baluncore, I'll be direct to speed this discussion up: It is clear that you are not familiar with the publishing practice in particle physics. What you suggest is simply not reasonable or even not possible for big collaborations.
 
  • #19
Baluncore
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See above, adding these people as authors technically violates the rules Dale linked, as these people don't make the final decision to publish it.
The principal investigators write the paper, are listed as authors, and make the decision to publish. The spokesperson gives the OK to release the publicity, they do not give the OK to content.

Surely you can't really be suggesting that because a spokesperson makes a decision as to the best time to release the authors paper, that the spokesperson is censoring the paper content and so controlling publication content.

For the majority of papers the journal makes the publication timing decision. Does that mean no author can ever meet the guidelines linked earlier in post #13 ?

Since when has gravity wave detection been particle physics? Gravity wave detection is closer to sparse VLBI and to optics.
 
  • #20
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The principal investigators write the paper, are listed as authors, and make the decision to publish. The spokesperson gives the OK to release the publicity, they do not give the OK to content.
This is not how it is done in particle physics.
Surely you can't really be suggesting that because a spokesperson makes a decision as to the best time to release the authors paper, that the spokesperson is censoring the paper content and so controlling publication content.
I am not suggesting this, and the spokesperson does not even make this decision (typically).
For the majority of papers the journal makes the publication timing decision.
That is again not how it works in particle physics, because things are made public long before they are published, typically even before they are submitted to a journal.
Since when has gravity wave detection been particle physics?
It is not, but the LIGO collaboration is organized similarly to other big collaborations - and most of them are particle physics groups, so they are used as model.
 
  • #21
Baluncore
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_authorship#Growing_number_of_authors_per_paper
One large scale facility, the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF), in 1998 adopted a highly unorthodox policy for assigning authorship. CDF maintains a standard author list. All scientists and engineers working at CDF are added to the standard author list after one year of full-time work; names stay on the list until one year after the worker leaves CDF. Every publication coming out of CDF uses the entire standard author list, in alphabetical order.
This explains why there are now so many authors being listed in particle physics. It also explains how dead employees get listed as authors.
It certainly makes a mockery of the concept of authorship.

 
  • #22
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adding these people as authors technically violates the rules Dale linked, as these people don't make the final decision to publish it. If these rules would be followed by the letter in particle physics, the publications would not have any authors.
Note, those rules are created by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. So they are designed to standardize authorship in the medical field. The structure of research is far different in the medical field. Those rules were generated to reflect different problems and some fairly public ethical breaches specific to medical research.
 
  • #23
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Note, those rules are created by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. So they are designed to standardize authorship in the medical field. The structure of research is far different in the medical field. Those rules were generated to reflect different problems and some fairly public ethical breaches specific to medical research.
Sure, I just used them as example that they cannot be applied everywhere.
It certainly makes a mockery of the concept of authorship.
It is not a perfect system, but it is the best system for large collaborations that has been found so far.
 
  • #24
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So getting back to the topic of the thread... Scientifically, do low mass or high mass mergers provide better tests of current theories and alternatives?
 
  • #25
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They are the same process just scaled, so whatever gives the best signal to noise ratio should be best. The observed mergers are close to the ideal frequency range = ideal mass range, but to explore the whole process you want a broader distribution of events. Smaller black holes give more insight in the earlier inspiral process, larger black holes give more insight into the later phases and the ringdown process.
 
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