Gravitational Wave Detector

18 06 2008

Pay attention group.

So, we all know how LIGO works, right? Well here’s a different twist on things. According to The e-Astronomer the folks at the Square Kilometer Array (guess how big it is…) claim they will catalog 30,000 pulsars. Fine enough, so what? I’m sure that once you’ve seen 1000 pulsars, you’ve seen ’em all. Well, with that large of a sample group you’ll have a pretty good distribution across the galaxy. With constant monitoring you’ll know if there is a deviation in the overall gravitational field (a disturbance in the force, so to speak), by looking for phase shifts and frequency fluctuations. That’s some pretty smart thinking.

Artist’s concept of SKA ©copyright ska

This is why science is so cool. You never know when one discovery will lead to the next. And you never really know what’s important until you find a use for it. Like Penzias and Wilson trying to isolate radio frequencies. Who knew they would then be given Nobel prizes for substantiating the Big Bang theory? This is why scientific endeavors need to be given some priority by whichever party wins the presidential election this fall. With the enormous cutbacks we’ve suffered over the last 7.5 years, the American public could use a little boost in confidence in what remains of our scientific community. When you consider that the profit made off of Episode I alone could build and support a space station for the next ten years it really puts the cost of scientific discovery into perspective. I can’t wait for this thing to get built!



2 responses

18 06 2008
Nick Jones

I smell an “astronomy club” field trip!…eew. That place would be awesome, and as you guys drilled into our heads for 3.5 YEARS! “a large sample size is very important”. I’m glad to see that some of the higher ups have caught on.

18 06 2008
Trey French

I agree with nick. That place would be awesome.

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