Faculty of Physics, Hanoi University of Science

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LIGO Bags Another Black Hole Merger

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[APS-Physics] LIGO has detected a second burst of gravitational waves from merging black holes, suggesting that such detections will soon become routine and part of a new kind of astronomy.

Unlike that earlier detection, the new event “did not leap out of the data,” says Sarah Caudill, a member of the LIGO team from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. It became evident only after careful filtering and analysis of the data. The LIGO team has worked on this analysis in partnership with the European Virgo Collaboration—which is associated with the Virgo gravitational-wave detector near Pisa, Italy.

The second event was different from the first in several other important ways, says Caudill. The black holes were smaller, which led to different timing for the final orbits and allowed LIGO to see more of the last stages before the black holes merged—55 cycles in the new data, compared with only 10 in the earlier event. And jointly analyzing the two events permitted a more precise test for violations of general relativity, Caudill says, although no such violations were found.

For the full story, see the sourcehttp://physics.aps.org/articles/v9/68

For the PRL paper: http://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.241103; Its preprint can be downloaded at http://arxiv.org/abs/1606.04855