1. In a nutshell, What are gravitational waves?
2. HOw did LIGO find Gravitational Waves?
3. So, How big is a gravitational wave?
4. If we can’t see or feel them, how did humans figure out that gravitational waves might exist at all?
5. What does this discovery mean for science?
- The Einstein Telescope: This “third-generation” gravitational wave detector has been proposed to be built in Europe. Based on the same interferometer idea used at LIGO, it would use three underground detectors, each with arms 10 km long, and would allow for precise studies of gravitational wave sources.
- KAGRA: Another “third-generation” underground detector, the Kamioka Gravitational Wave Detector in Japan is expected to begin operating in 2018.
- eLISA: Planned to launch in 2034, the Evolved Laser Interferometer Space Antenna is a space-based gravitational wave detector that would have three space-based interferometers trail the Earth’s orbit, connected by lasers that form a high-precision interferometer. Proposed by the European Space Agency, and left on the drawing board for years, the project got a boost in 2015 when the ESA launched the LISA Pathfinder – a mission to test the technologies that would be used in eLISA.
6. What does this mean for cosmology, and humanity?