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In August of 2017, astronomers made another major breakthrough when the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detected gravitational waves that were believed to be caused by the merger of two neutron stars. Since that time, scientists at multiple facilities around the world have conducted follow-up observations to determine the aftermath this merger, as even to test various cosmological theories.
For instance, in the past, some scientists have suggested that the inconsistencies between Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity and the nature of the Universe over large-scales could be explained by the presence of extra dimensions. However, according to a new study by a team of American astrophysicists, last year’s kilonova event effectively rules out this hypothesis.
Study - Journal - Cosmology - Astroparticle - Physics
Their study was recently published in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, titled “Limits on the number of spacetime dimensions from GW170817“. The study was led by Kris Pardo, a graduate student with the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University, and included members from the University of Chicago, Stanford University, and the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Astrophysics.
Unlike previous events that produced gravitational waves, the kilonova event – known as GW170817 – involved the merger of two neutron stars (as opposed to black holes) and the aftermath was visible to astronomers using conventional telescopes. What’s more, it was the first astronomical event to be detected in both gravitational and electromagnetic waves – including visible light, gamma rays, X-rays, and radio waves.
Prof - Daniel - Holz - Professor - Astronomy/astrophysics
As Prof. Daniel Holz – a Professor of astronomy/astrophysics and physics at the University of Chicago, and a co-author on the study – explained:
“This is the very first time we’ve been able to detect sources simultaneously in both gravitational and light waves. This provides an entirely new and exciting probe, and we’ve been learning all sorts of interesting things about...
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