What is going on at LIGO/VIRGO?

  • #1
jimgraber
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Summary:

O3 observing run started April 1. Much data until June 4 on GraceDB and GCN Circulars Archive. Since then, nothing. What's happening?

Main Question or Discussion Point

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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Answers and Replies

  • #3
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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
stefan r
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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.

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
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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
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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?
 
  • #8
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This also sounds very bad
 
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  • #9
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What and why?
 

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