We know that the field of physics has numerous aspects that make it quite difficult for most people to understand. One of these aspects is the gravitational waves. These waves were predicted by the scientist Albert Einstein and they were discovered 100 years after their prediction. They represent a breakthrough for science in Einstein's theory of relativity.
Therefore, we are going to dedicate this article to tell you everything you need to know about gravitational waves, their characteristics and importance.
What are gravitational waves
We are talking about the representation of a disturbance in space-time that is generated by the existence of an accelerated massive body producing an expansion of energy in all directions at the speed of light. The phenomenon of gravitational waves allows space-time to stretch without being able to return to its original state. It also generates microscopic disturbances that can only be perceived in advanced scientific laboratories. All gravitational disturbance is capable of propagating at the speed of light.
They are usually produced between two or more space bodies that produce a propagation of energy that is transported in all directions. It is a phenomenon that causes space-time to expand in such a way that it can return to its original state. The discovery of gravitational waves has made a very important contribution to studying space through its waves. Thanks to this, other models can be proposed in order to understand the behavior of space and all its characteristics.
Although one of the last hypotheses of Albert Einstein in his theory of relativity was the description of gravitational waves, they were detected a century later. Thus, the existence of these gravitational waves that Einstein pointed out can be corroborated. According to this scientist, the existence of this type of waves came from a mathematical derivation that stated that no object or signal could be faster than light.
Already a century later in 2014, the BICEP2 observatory announced the discovery of and terraces of gravitational waves that were generated during the expansion of the universe in the Big Bang. Shortly after this news could be denied when seeing that this was not real.
A year later, the scientists in the LIGO experiment were able to detect these waves. In this way, they made sure of the attendance to proclaim the news. Thus, Although the discovery was in 2015, they announced it in 2016.
Main characteristics and origin of gravitational waves
We are going to see what are the most representative characteristics that make gravitational waves one of the most important discoveries in the field of physics in recent years. These are disturbances that alter the dimensions of space-time in such a way that it manages to dilate it without allowing it to return to its original state. The main characteristic is that they are capable of propagating at the speed of light and in all directions. They are transverse waves and can be polarized. This means that it also has a magnetic function.
These waves can transport energy at high speed and in very distant spaces. Perhaps one of the doubts raised about gravitational waves is that its origin cannot be determined in its entirety. They can appear in different frequencies depending on the intensity of each one of them.
Although it is not entirely clear, there are many scientists trying to establish how gravitational waves originate. Let's see what are the possible situations in which they can be formed:
- When two or more very high mass space bodies interact with each other. These masses must be huge for the force of gravity to take effect.
- The product of the orbits of two black holes.
- They can be generated by the collision of two galaxies. Obviously, this is something that doesn't happen every day
- They can originate when the orbits of two neutrons coincide.
Detection and importance
We are now going to briefly analyze how the LIGO scientists have been able to identify these types of waves. We know that they generate disturbances of microscopic size and that they can only be detected by highly advanced devices in technology. I also have to bear in mind that these devices are very delicate. They are known by the name of interferometers. They are made up of a system of tunnels several kilometers apart and arranged in an L shape. Lasers pass through these kilometer-long tunnels that bounce off mirrors and interfere when crossing. When a gravitational slingshot occurs it can be perfectly detected by a deformation in space-time. Stable formation occurs between the mirrors found in the interferometer.
Other tools that can also detect gravitational waves are radio telescopes. Such radio telescopes can measure the light from pulsars. The importance of detecting these types of waves is what allows human beings to better explore the universe. And is that thanks to these waves you can hear well the vibrations that expand in space-time. The discovery of these waves has made it possible to understand that the universe can be deformed and all deformations expand and contract throughout space with a wave form.
It should be noted that for gravitational waves to form, violent processes such as the collision of black holes must be created. It is thanks to the study of these waves by which information can be obtained that these events and cataclysms that occur in the cosmos. All phenomena can help to understand and explain many basic laws within the field of physics. Thanks to this, a large amount of information can be supplied about space, its origin and how stars deform or disappear. All of this information is also derived to learn more about black holes. An example of a gravitational wave It is found in the explosion of a star, the collision of two meteorites or when black holes are formed. It can also be found in a supernova explosion.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about gravitational waves and their characteristics.