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The theory of general relativity published by Albert Einstein in 1915 predicts that accelerating massesemit gravitational waves. The effects of these passing gravitational waves are exceedingly weak and verydifficult to detect. The first detection of gravitational waves was made in 2015 by the LaserInterferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). The first detected gravitational waves, emittedfrom the merger of two black holes, changed the length of the arms of the interferometer by much lessthan the diameter of a proton. Gravitational waves provide a very different window into the universethan do electromagnetic waves. Electromagnetic waves, unlike gravitational waves, are emitted only bycharged objects, are trapped by black holes, and may be distorted or blocked as they travel to the earth.Gravitational-wave detection provides unique information about the most energetic events in theuniverse such as colliding black holes and exploding stars. This information could significantly deepenunderstanding of the large-scale structure of the universe. This project reviews the theory behind thepropagation of gravitational waves and their detection by ultra-sensitive laser interferometers. Newinsights into the nature of the cosmos that might be provided by detection of gravitational waves will be summarized.
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences
Institutional Learning Goals
"A Review of the Detection of Gravitational Waves by Laser Interferometers" (2023). Stander Symposium Projects. 2919.
Presentation: 10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Kennedy Union Ballroom