black hole spacetimes | vanishing angular momentum | positive angular momentum |
---|---|---|
vanishing charge | Schwarzschild spacetime | Kerr spacetime |
positive charge | Reissner-Nordstrom spacetime | Kerr-Newman spacetime |
physics, mathematical physics, philosophy of physics
theory (physics), model (physics)
experiment, measurement, computable physics
Axiomatizations
Tools
Structural phenomena
Types of quantum field thories
The physical theory of Einstein-gravity (“general relativity”) predicts, via Einstein's equations of motion, that vacuum spacetime may show a kind of oscillations of the field of gravity roughly analogous to electromagnetic waves in electromagnetism. (Both kinds of waves are oscillation of the field itself and do not depend on some “medium” such as a water wave does.) In fact, since the force of gravity is reflected in the pseudo-Riemannian geometry of spacetime, a gravitational wave is a kind of periodic distortion of spacetime geometry itself.
At the end of the 20th century, there had accumulated excellent but indirect evidence for gravitational waves from the observation of binary pulsars (Hulse-Taylor 75). Their observed rotational motion loses energy precisely to the extent that general relativity predicts is being radiated away by gravitational waves.
On 11 Febrary 2016 was the announcement of the first direct detection by the LIGO collaboration, using laser interferometry, of a gravitational wave signal coming from the in-spiral and merge of a pair of black holes (LIGO 2016). The signal was a chirp at 35-250 Hz (converted to audio in this looped recording), detected as coming from the sky over the southern hemisphere on 14 September 2015.
Further direct detections of gravitational wave events followed. The event GW170817 LIGO-Virgo17 showed gravitational waves from merging neutron stars coincident with the corresponding electromagnetic radiation.
The first article that correctly derived gravitational waves from the Einstein equations is
In particular this correctly stated that gravitational waves require a quadrupole moment as a source (e.g. a rotating binary star system) and not just a dipole moment (e.g. an oscillating charge) as for electromagnetic waves (the graviton has spin 2, the photon has spin 1…), thereby correcting a mistake to this effect in the earlier article
The reality of gravitational wave solutions however kept being a cause of concern for many years (Einstein himself was concerned that the linearization approximation used in their derivation might have been too coarse), for a brief account of the early history see
Wolfgang Steinicke, Einstein and the Gravitational waves, Astron. Nachr. / AN 326 (2005), No. 7 – Short Contributions AG 2005 Köln (pdf)
A modern walk through the derivation of gravitational waves from linearization of Einstein's equations may be found for instance on pages 5-24 of
Indirect detection of gravitational waves based on energy loss of a binary star pulsar system is due to
The first proposal of the LIGO-type experiment for the detection of gravitational waves is due to
Discussion of theoretical predictions for events that have a chance to yield detectable gravitational wave signals includes
In particular the computation of the signal from the coalescence of two inspiralling black holes is due to
Alessandra Buonanno, Thibault Damour, Effective one-body approach to general relativistic two-body dynamics, Phys.Rev. D59 (1999) 084006 (arXiv:gr-qc/9811091)
Alessandra Buonanno, Thibault Damour, Binary black holes coalescence: transition from adiabatic inspiral to plunge, IX Marcel Grossmann Meeting in Rome, July 2000 (arXiv:gr-qc/0011052)
Thibault Damour, Alessandro Nagar, An improved analytical description of inspiralling and coalescing black-hole binaries, Phys.Rev.D79:081503,2009 (arXiv:0902.0136)
Thibault Damour, Alessandro Nagar, A new analytic representation of the ringdown waveform of coalescing spinning black hole binaries, 10.1103/PhysRevD.90.024054 (arXiv:1406.0401)
Direct detection of gravitational waves by the LIGO experiment is reported in
B. P. Abbott et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration), Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger, Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 061102, 11 February 2016, doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.061102
B. P. Abbott et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration), GW170817: Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Neutron Star Inspiral Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 161101, 2017 (doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.161101)
Review of the theoretical predictions and their experimental verification is given in
See also