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Errara t1_j2iebvj wrote

Blocked by paywall, here's the article:

A new kind of gravitational wave hunter is set to start up in 2023, and it could also help in the search for dark matter.

Gravitational waves are ripples in space-time created by events such as black holes colliding. They were first predicted by Albert Einstein in 1916 and first detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in the US in 2015, almost a century later. Now, we have seen more than 100 gravitational waves, advancing our understanding of black holes and neutron stars.

But there is still much more to discover. The Matter-wave Laser Interferometric Gravitation Antenna (MIGA) in France is designed to spot low-frequency gravitational waves that existing detectors can’t see. Astronomers are keen to find these waves because they could carry hints of how pairs of black holes behave long before they collide.

Located 300 metres underground in a former military facility, MIGA is a 150-metre-long tube with all the air sucked out to create a near-perfect vacuum. While LIGO uses two beams of light as detectors, looking for disturbances in space-time created by passing gravitational waves that make the beams differ from each other, MIGA use rubidium atoms chilled with lasers to just 2 millionths of a degree above absolute zero.

At this temperature, quantum effects turn the atoms into “matter waves” that can be used in a similar manner to LIGO’s light beams, but with far more sensitivity. LIGO can’t detect particularly low-frequency gravitational waves because they get mixed up with tiny seismic vibrations, but MIGA’s matter waves – which are in near-total isolation underground and are in a vacuum – can.

“The dream of gravitational wave astronomy is to be able to cover all frequencies of gravitational waves. If we can go from very low to very high frequencies, we may even discover sources of gravitational waves we don’t expect yet,” says MIGA project manager Benjamin Canuel.

In addition to detecting new gravitational waves, the researchers hope to use MIGA’s sensitivity to faint disturbances to look for interactions between the rubidium atoms and possible dark matter particles, says Dylan Sabulsky at the Low Noise Underground Laboratory in France. Dark matter is thought to make up the bulk of matter in the universe, but we have never detected it directly. MIGA could put new constraints on the mass or energy of dark particles, he says.


terrycolq t1_j2hy3mj wrote

If you won't let us read the entire article, don't freaking post it!


lilrabbitfoofoo t1_j2igiv6 wrote

This is the future of understanding the universe. It will answer the questions telescopes (and EM detection) are wholly incapable of resolving. :)


hvgotcodes t1_j2jo33c wrote

What type of phenomena will this detect that LiGO cannot?


GsTSaien t1_j2m38ya wrote

Folks I have to come clean. I am blind. Like, completely blind. I can't see anything, not even like shadows. I have been just guessing these 25 years. Every step I took, every time I waved back at a stranger at a distance; whenever I played videogames. All guesses. I can't read or write, I am simply mashing away at different parts my phone right now. I do not know what reddit is, me typing all of these words is simply coincidence.

I know this might come as a shock to many of you who know me to be a woman capable of sight, but it was all a trick. Whenever I had to read, I just guessed. All of my academic achievements were just luck, I just pretended I could read and write and I kept being awarded high grades. I do not know what horses look like.


houseman1131 t1_j35tjz4 wrote

A horse looks like a gaint rat with a long HAIRY TAIL.


GsTSaien t1_j35yclv wrote

I can't read that description nor do I know what a rat looks like.


zerepgn t1_j2jdhhm wrote

The only reason we go on these charades is to try to prove a theory (Einstein) correct. These attempts are often very costly and could perhaps the money could be spent on researchers who present alternate theories that actually bear fruitful and unusual results.

Science will forever be a battle of theories and models, the current ones will eventually be replaced and then those replacements will also eventually be phased out.


Working_Sundae t1_j2q1thm wrote

There is nothing wrong with that, all this,is our understanding of the universe, it keeps getting finer and more accurate as we probe deeper.


zerepgn t1_j2q3tmc wrote

We should probe in directions that make the most sense, that is all. We probably are in many areas.