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Re: LIGO Progress

Subject: Re: LIGO Progress
From: "Peter Webb"
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 22:23:48 +1100
Newsgroups: sci.astro
"George Dishman" <[email protected]> wrote in message 
news:[email protected]
> "Peter Webb" <[email protected]> wrote in message 
> news:[email protected]
>> "George Dishman" <[email protected]> wrote in message 
>> news:[email protected]
>>> "Mike" <[email protected]> wrote in message 
>>> news:v45Vf.9083$6%[email protected]
>>>> Does anyone have any new information on anything new being done to the 
>>>> LIGO
>>>> detector?
>>>> After hearing the LIGO gravity wave detector was not sensitive enough 
>>>> to
>>>> detect gravity waves what are the steps being done to fix it? Are they
>>>> planning to rip the guts out of it?
>>>> That project sucked quite a bit of money out of the NSF piggy bank and 
>>>> I
>>>> hope more funds are not going to be solicited unlessss they're 
>>>> absolutely
>>>> sure LIGO is going to work.
>>> LIGO will work (and they are already working
>>> on LIGO 2 which improves the sensitivity) but
>>> whether it will detect gravitational waves is
>>> another matter. The point is that a null result
>>> at a sensitivity better than predicted for
>>> detection would also be significant.
>>> George
>> ... a significant waste of money!
>> But it won't be - they computer post-process the data, and answers they 
>> get will be have to be probabilities.
> The answers they get will be something like
> probable amplitudes for waves from specific
> sources and can be compared against known
> objects in those locations

Any idea of the spatial resolution provided by LIGO 1? And unless the 
resolution is of the order of a few arc-seconds, how will they know what 
object generated the signal?

>> So they will say "almost certain" or "very likely". And the calculations 
>> can reasonably only be done on their own computers, and so the realistic 
>> options for peer review are zero, the incentive for exaggeration is 
>> enormous.
> The data is what it is. The algorithms used
> can and will be reviewed. It is also possible
> that the data will be independently reprocessed
> as Markwardt did for the Anderson data on Pioneer

That is a link to a review of a different and far easier data set.

Have you any corresponding evidence that the LIGO data can or will be 
subject to external review?

> Those who exaggerate tend to get found out.
> George

And those who publish completely irrelevant links also get found out.


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