Pushing the limits of infrasonic gravitational waves

How a team of physicists detects gravitational waves at frequencies low enough to reveal the secrets of the early merger stages of supermassive black holes, the heaviest objects on Earth. was developed. Great universe.
This method can detect gravitational waves that oscillate only once every 1000 years, 100 times slower than any gravitational waves measured so far.

“These are waves that reach us from the farthest corners of the universe and can affect the propagation of light,” said Jeff, assistant professor of physics at the University of Florida and co-author of the paper. Dr. Drol said. New study. “Studying these waves from the early universe, as well as previous discoveries of the cosmic microwave background, will help build a complete picture of the history of the universe.”

Dror and co. Author William DeRocco, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz, published his results in Physical Review Letters.

Gravitational waves are similar to cosmic waves. Like sound waves and ocean waves, gravitational waves vary in both frequency and amplitude. This information provides information about its origin and age. Gravitational waves that reach us can vibrate at very low frequencies, much lower than the sound waves that the human ear can detect. Some of the lowest frequencies discovered in the past were as low as 1 nanohertz.

“For your information,” Dror explained, “the frequency of the sound waves produced by a crocodile’s roar is about 100 billion times higher than this frequency. It’s a very deep wave.”

Their new detection method is based on the analysis of pulsars and neutron stars, which emit radio waves at very regular intervals. Dror wondered if the slow arrival of these pulses could lead to the emergence of new gravitational waves.

By examining existing pulsar data, Dror will be able to look for gravitational waves at lower frequencies than previously possible, extending the “audible range” to frequencies as low as 10 picohertz and detecting gravitational waves in the nanohertz range. This is 100 times lower than previous attempts. .

1 Gravitational waves with frequencies around nanohertz have already been detected, but not much is known about their origin. There are two theories. The main idea is that these waves are the result of the merger of two supermassive black holes. If true, researchers would have a new way to study the behavior of the giant objects at the centers of all galaxies.

Another leading theory is that these waves were created by catastrophic events early in the history of the universe. Studying gravitational waves at even lower frequencies may help distinguish between these possibilities.

“Looking to the future, the next step is to analyze newer datasets,” Dror said. “The datasets we used were primarily from his 2014 and 2015 years, and numerous pulsar observations have been made since then.”

Dror also decodes further the history of the universe For this purpose, he also plans to run simulations with mock data using his HiPerGator supercomputer at UF. Supercomputers can efficiently run large, complex simulations, significantly reducing the time it takes to analyze data.

source: https://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.132.101403