What is going on at LIGO/VIRGO?

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In summary, there is new data from LIGO, but it is from earlier in the observation run and there are no new results from the LVC. There is frustration among the authors of the paper due to the long wait between events and publication.
  • #1
jimgraber
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TL;DR Summary
O3 observing run started April 1. Much data until June 4 on GraceDB and GCN Circulars Archive. Since then, nothing. What's happening?
Why no new data? No news of any problems that I have heard. I'm both mystified and concerned.
Jim Graber
 
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There is new data from LIGO
The paper you link to can hardly be called new, since it was published in November 2018. Furthermore, the paper presents no new data from the LIGO/Virgo collaboration (LVC), but rather presents some new tests of GR, using data from the GW170817 binary neutron star coalescence event which occurred in August 2017.

As @jimgraber has noted, no new data are yet forthcoming from the newest observing run of the LVC. I hadn't known about the two sources of information he mentions in his post, so I'll be keeping an eye on them from time to time. Thanks jim.
 
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  • #4
Zeke137 said:
The paper you link to can hardly be called new, since it was published in November 2018. Furthermore, the paper presents no new data from the LIGO/Virgo collaboration (LVC), but rather presents some new tests of GR, using data from the GW170817 binary neutron star coalescence event which occurred in August 2017.

...
15 months from event to publication.

jimgraber said:
Summary: O3 observing run started April 1. Much data until June 4 ...
5 months since start of observation and data collection.

If they can cut the time to publish from 15 months to 7 months then they doubled the pace. So if something happened in May we should be happy if we get the results for Hanukkah.
 
  • #5
15 months from event to publication
Your metadata has one data point, so hardly sufficient to spot trends.

But looking at the paper (it's available on arxiv), one notes that it has hundreds of authors - I didn't count how many (I estimate 1200), but the list of authors and their affiliations is enough to fill six whole pages! One could imagine them all squabbling amongst themselves for the full fifteen months about whether a colon or semicolon should be used in a particular sentence, or what shade of blue should be used in a graph. But I jest...

So, the paper is a report, not of new data, but of tests of General Relativity using older data, and one can easily imagine leisurely communications taking place between many of the authors, where they express an interest or idea on this or that constraint on GR, using various aspects of the data from the GW170817 event. Eventually, there would be enough momentum to propose a paper collecting these various threads of thoughts into a cogent whole, the end result being this paper. Fifteen months sounds about right for that, especially considering that many of the authors would probably have teaching duties and other research interests.

But do I detect a note of frustration in your post? Is it the case that having to wait so long between events and publication of papers on those events is causing you concern or anxiety? Do you feel, as a member of the public who has a particular interest in these topics, that you have some kind of special claim on their publishing as soon as is physically possible?

If so, then I would respectfully suggest that you, and others who may feel the same way, calmly consider the idea that publishing of scientific papers takes just as long as it takes, and we all just have to wait until the papers emerge into the light of day.
 
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  • #6
There was a gap in June, almost one month long, in the events shown at gracedb.ligo.org/latest. Wonder why.

...
S190630ag 1.435e-13 2019-06-30 18:52:28 UTC
S190602aq 1.901e-09 2019-06-02 17:59:51 UTC
...
 
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  • #7
Zeke137 said:
But looking at the paper (it's available on arxiv), one notes that it has hundreds of authors - I didn't count how many (I estimate 1200), but the list of authors and their affiliations is enough to fill six whole pages! One could imagine them all squabbling amongst themselves for the full fifteen months about whether a colon or semicolon should be used in a particular sentence, or what shade of blue should be used in a graph. But I jest...
That happens. Can't speak for LIGO/VIRGO but big particle physics collaborations do have these discussions. You make a draft with X, then you get a comment that it should be changed to Y, you change it, then in a later review round you get a comment that you should change it to X...
That is ultimately a small part of the work (it doesn't influence publication time notably) but it is a very annoying part.

I was surprised by the gap in events as well and asked around but didn't find a plausible explanation. Operational issues? Issues with the database?
 
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This also sounds very bad
 
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What and why?
 

Related to What is going on at LIGO/VIRGO?

1. What is LIGO/VIRGO?

LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) and VIRGO (Virgo Interferometer for Gravitational Wave Observation) are international collaborations of scientists and engineers working to detect and study gravitational waves.

2. How do LIGO/VIRGO detect gravitational waves?

LIGO/VIRGO use a technique called laser interferometry, which involves splitting a laser beam and sending it down two perpendicular arms. When a gravitational wave passes through, it causes the arms to slightly stretch and compress, changing the distance the laser travels. This change is measured by sensitive instruments and can indicate the presence of a gravitational wave.

3. What is the significance of detecting gravitational waves?

Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space-time, predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity. Their detection provides a new way to study the universe and opens up a new window for observing and understanding cosmic events such as black hole mergers and supernovae.

4. What has LIGO/VIRGO discovered so far?

LIGO/VIRGO made the first-ever direct detection of gravitational waves in 2015, caused by the merger of two black holes. Since then, they have detected multiple gravitational wave events, including the merger of two neutron stars and several more black hole mergers. These discoveries have provided valuable insights into the behavior of gravity and the properties of black holes.

5. What is the future of LIGO/VIRGO?

LIGO/VIRGO are constantly being upgraded and improved to increase their sensitivity and detect more gravitational waves. In the future, they hope to detect a wider range of gravitational wave frequencies and potentially observe new types of cosmic events. They also plan to collaborate with other gravitational wave detectors around the world to create a global network for studying these elusive waves.

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