Let’s start with the fact that the above-mentioned detector is designed to detect gravitational waves, which can be compared to the waves that propagate on the surface of water after we throw a stone into it. Of course, the size and source of these waves are completely different, because we are talking about signals generated, for example, by colliding black holes. Years later, evidence of the existence of such waves was finally discovered, and in 2017, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for this extraordinary discovery.
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LIGO, or the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, recently made history by pushing quantum limits, which was made possible by light compression technology. In this way, it was possible to increase the sensitivity of the measurements and identify up to 60% more dead stars undergoing mergers with other objects than before. This of course provides much better results in terms of detecting such phenomena.
We are shown behind the scenes of the latest experiments in Physical review. Instruments in LIGO equipment allow you to detect even the smallest differences in the propagating beam of light. We are talking about deviations that are so inconceivably small that they cannot be directly identified using the human senses. Therefore, we need help from technology, although it does not always help.
The LIGO gravitational wave detector allows you to detect signals resulting, for example, from black hole collisions
Therefore, scientists had to use technology that would make their actions make sense even at the subatomic level. The optical compression method used by members of the research team is compared to pressing a balloon, meaning that when we press on one side, it becomes larger than the other side. Regarding light, this procedure allows for more accurate measurements.
Previously, we had to choose where LIGO would be most accurate. Now we can eat our cake and have it too. We’ve known for a while how to write equations to accomplish this, but until now it wasn’t clear whether we could actually do it. It’s like science fiction. Rana Adhikari of the California Institute of Technology explains
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Through crystals, photons traveling through 4-kilometer-long tubes are transformed into two entangled photons at lower energy levels. These beams interact with laser beams, which means that when gravitational waves appear in range, these beams can be used to receive signals at the other end. Most importantly, the proposed approach is very flexible and allows amplification of both higher and lower frequencies. In practical terms, this should translate into an increase in the number of detected sources emitting gravitational waves.
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