Scientists seeking continuous gravitational waves | 4/17/2018 | Deborah Byrd
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Artist’s concept of gravitational waves via ScienceBlog.

In 2016, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration announced the 1st direct observations of short bursts of gravitational waves – ripples’ in the fabric of space-time – in this case, created during the merger of black holes. Late last year, LIGO said it had detected the first gravitational waves from colliding neutron stars. On April 10, 2018, scientists in Europe announced a search for a different type of gravitational wave signal, the long continuous waveform expected from a single rapidly spinning neutron star. The scientists said they’d established a new permanent independent research group to search for such objects.

Maria - Alessandra - Group - Max - Planck

Maria Alessandra is leading the group at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Hannover, Germany. The announcement said:

It is the largest group worldwide dedicated to this topic and conducts the most sensitive searches for this kind of gravitational wave with the globally distributed volunteer computing project Einstein@Home. In addition to its permanent funding, the group will receive additional funds from the Max Planck Society for the first five years.


Papa explained:

With the first direct detections of gravitational waves from merging black hole and neutron star pairs, we have done the first steps into new astrophysical territory.

Continent - Neutron - Stars - Galaxy - Population

But much of this new continent is still uncharted. While we do know that there are about 100 million single neutron stars in our galaxy, we only have identified about 3,000 of them. We want to unveil this mostly invisible population by detecting their continuous gravitational-wave emission.

A neutron single star swiftly rotating on its axis – with a large mountain or other irregularity on it – might produce continuous gravitational...
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