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Learning From Gravitational Waves

How big of a wave can you make? Supermassive objects that collide can distort time-space itself, as the radiating waves carry away energy. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) team announced they had recorded gravitational waves when instruments detected a change in the length of a 4 kilometer tunnel that is measured down to a fraction of a proton. The long awaited detection rocked the science community, for a totally new way of looking at the universe had been discovered.

Tiffany Summerscales, Professor of Physics at Andrews University whose team analyzed the incoming LIGO data, had been involved in the research for over a decade. Summerscales will share her firsthand account about LIGO's inaugural measurements of gravitational waves on Thursday, November 17, at 7:00 p.m. at the Centre Twp. Branch Library. Her presentation What Can We Learn From Gravitational Waves? will open the November meeting of the Michiana Astronomical Society. The public is welcome to join this free event.

Collision of black holes; artist depiction courtesy of LIGO.

Image courtesy of LIGO.

For an introduction to gravitational waves, see New York Times video LIGO Hears Gravitational Waves Einstein Predicted with Dennis Overby linked from

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