LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) and Discovery of Fast Radio Burst (Download PDF)

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Detection of gravitational waves in 2015 by the Scientific Collaboration. Recent announcement regarding publishing a detailed explanation of how it analyses the noise in its detectors.

2015 Discovery

  • Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space-time.
  • Arises from the merger of a pair of black holes in distant space.
  • An exciting finding in physics for decades.
  • Confirmation of the prediction made by Einstein.
  • Space-time itself can squeeze and stretch in rhythmic waves.
  • The Nobel Prize was awarded to the collaboration founders in physics in 2017.

Need for LIGO՚s Explanation

  • To measure a shortening of space equivalent to about a thousandth of the width of a proton.
  • Swamped by noise also known as natural thermal vibrations.
  • Use of sophisticated analysis techniques to remove the noise.
  • The validity of the first detection was questioned by a group of scientists based on their data analysis in 2017.
  • LIGO Collaboration to be used in the process of clarifying the approach thereby explaining the analysis techniques.

Discovery of Fast Radio Burst

  • Sighting a repeating fast radio burst from a distant galaxy.
  • Reported by Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) .

Fast Radio Bursts

  • Brief (few milliseconds) bursts of radio waves.
  • Coming from far beyond our Milky Way galaxy.
  • First reporting of the phenomenon in 2007.
  • Till mid-2007 roughly two dozen has been reported with their origin is unknown.
  • FRB 121102- Observed to repeat, shown to come from a small dwarf galaxy at redshift 0.2.


  • The CHIME Telescope.
  • Large collecting area, wide bandwidth and enormous field-of-view.
  • Location- Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) .
  • DRAO is a national facility for astronomy operated by the National Research Council of Canada.
  • DRAO Site protection-Against man-made radio-frequency interference by municipal, provincial and federal regulation.
  • CHIME FRB event rate- Between 2 and 50 FRBs per day.
  • CHIME-discovered FRBs- In real time and reported immediately to the worldwide astrophysical community for multi-wavelength follow up.

Recent Reporting of the CHIME

  • Detection of a mysterious radio signal emanating from a galaxy star.
  • CHIME was used to observe radio bursts at frequencies between 400 megahertz (MHz) and 800 MHz.
  • Previously detected FRBs- Found at found at frequencies near 1400 MHz.

- Published/Last Modified on: March 16, 2020


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