Virtual Center Annual Report

Virtual Center Annual Report 2016

This year The Virtual Center was very successful.

We continue to meet virtually once a month via video conference.

This summer 8 members of our group choose to meet at the University of Chicago for a major update on LIGO’s newest discoveries.  The learning experience was enriched through presentations from our own members as well as guest speakers, Shane Larson, on staff at Adler Planetarium as well as other Universities; and a live videoconference with Dale Ingram from Hanover LIGO.  

Shane's presentation was very informative and he is an exceptional speaker.  Would highly recommend to any other centers considering a LIGO update if they are nearby his homebase.

Dale gave newest information from the Hanover site and answered our questions regarding the discovery and their publishing process.

Danielle McDermott posted a copy of Shane Larson’s power point to the Virtual Center site so we could all have access in the future.  Teacher groups posted to the Virtual Center their LIGO elab site work.  'The Gents' and 'Debbie and Kathy'.

We were fortunate to have both our mntors present during this meeting, Antonio Delgado, theoretical physicist and Dan Karmgard, experimental physicist.  The exchange of ideas from the different points of view were, as always, fascinating.  We are exceptionally lucky to have both points of view which allow updates on the theory and the practice of HEP.

Member, Trish Baker, had a research student during the school year 15-16.  Using a CRMD with set up help from fellow virtual LF member, Debbie Gremmelsbacher, Trish’s student conducted extensive studies on many aspects of muon detection such as plate distance, concrete layer shielding, and atmospheric effects. 

Our members continue to use elabs and masterclass when appropriate depending on the class we are teaching or presenting to.

Below are specific notes from the August 2016 meetings by date.

Virtual Quarknet Meeting August 11-13

Thursday August 11:  University of Illinois Chicago:  UIC


Seismic data.   absolutely necessary for LIGO research.

Antonio Delgado:  mentor news from LHC:  HEP meeting lepton and aps,  lhc was working last year but not perfectly, this year it is working beyond expectations.  The data today has cleaned up the 750 TeV data.  New data had a particle that decays to 2 photons of high energy.  One of the ways to discover a Higgs.  750 gEv doesnot exist.  over 100 papers tried to explain.    frequency y v Mgg on the x.  90 of 100 were the same paper… Higgs has been appearing regularly at 13 TeV data.

 Ice cube experiment:   km of ice looking for neutrinos, run by University of Wisconsin, have reported new cosmic ray data as well as neutrinos.  Neutrinos do have mass and they oscillate.  Not all the data can be completely fitted to the 3 we know of.  They do not all come from the Z particle.

Einstein explained that maxwells equation could explain how something travels faster than c.  Gravity took Einstein 1905-1916.  Completely different.  Something unique and different.  Forces are external, space and time.  Gravity bends space time, it is not a force.  In special relativity you must say what time is it in what frame.  There are certain questions that do not make sense.  Space bends in the way anything bends, but space and time.  You must have time and space coordinates.  Bending. You feel gravity going from one space to another because it is moving.  Projection of a globe onto a flat map is misleading. 

A triangle on a spherical surface has angles that total 360 not 180.  matter affect space time and vice versa. Maxwell’s equation of a wave is one of the easiest explanations that moves at c, the gravitational wave moving at c. Very difficult measurement to make because what you are looking for is soooo weak, and surrounding interference is so great.

The gravitational waves we are currently seeing are from Black Holes, only the most massive of objects.  We are also looking at SuperNova.

In the same way that a photon is a quantum of light.       the graviton is a quantum of gravity. 

From Einstein mass and energy is the same,there must be an affect on all particles even light.  Newtonian mechanics cannot explain the bending of light but Einstein’s relativity can.  We do not have a theory of Quantum Gravity.  It makes sense to call contact forces a force but long range Forces like gravity, we really should not use the word force.  You would be more correct to describe it as gravity interaction.  This is not the same as astronomical gravitational waves.

classical physics has h with a value.       quantum physics h=0.  The way we build theories in the quantum world.  When what you are calculating comes close to the Plank mass.  String theory is not a theory of particles.  It is a potential explanation of quantum gravity, not particles.  String theory has not been able to derive anything regarded to gravity. Philosophical changes in ways of teaching physics at all college levels.  Plank mass = 10 to the 19th GeV.  Higg’s field shows the binding energy mass of the quarks inside a proton.  The Higgs does not measure the mass of the quarks, but the conversion of the binding energy of the quarks to mass.

August 11; pm

Helix with spring and laser demo.   creates an x of lines and spaces with another set of spaces in between.  Using measurements from the pictures produced on a screen, you can calculate the radium and pitch of the spring.

Einstein’s messengers video explaining bend in space time; video was made prior to the discovery of gravitational waves at LIGO.

LIGO seismology questions.  Online at virtual site.

Friday August 12:

am videoconference with Dale Ingram from Hanover LIGO

Monitors surround the walls.  combination of detector parameters, monitoring various physical properties.

also monitors contain past and current data.  system monitors the suspension system considered to be a subsystem of the larger system.  Also shown is the laser beam camera view at different points along the 2 detector arms.  The Guardian screen is of the software system that oversees the detector, color coded with different channels of software subsystems.  The also have a display of reference traces.  shows separation of instrument at lower frequency of around 10 Hz.  but the differences are on the 10 -16 m differences.

Seismometer graph overlays of from different positions withing the arms.  Current graph shows a 7.5 quake in the Pacific Ocean, and it will be several hours before the the background and aftershocks calm down enough so that they will be able to possibly see a gravity wave.  Right now there is too much interference.  Significant investment has been made in sensing equipment for safety and measuring.  The first data run produced 2 gravity waves announced at different times as the data was evaluated.  Then there is about a 3 month delay between ‘I think we have something’ and checking it out and having an official announcement.

After a significant event there is continuous movement for a significant time.  So the resonance within the interferometer is loss.  They call this “Losing Lock” within the interferometer.  We experienced this yesterday when we set up the table top interferometer.  Very difficult obtain a successful “locked” position macroscopically, a slight lean on the table will cause ‘Losing Lock’.  Dale had to leave the control room.  And is now in the electronics room.  the electronics are sources out for production, then they test and adapt what is manufactured for them.  Their designs are developed at CalTech.  Physics and electrical engineers are both working on the same equipment.

difference between the signal of black holes colliding vs neutron stars spiraling, sometimes varied by the frequency level reached in the detector.  computer helps identify with software modeling within the computer.  Black holes are much lower frequencies than neutron star circling.  Mathematical modeling in spirals has been a 30 year calculation problem that was solved about 8 years ago.  Also, the amplitude of the signal helps identify the type of event that caused the gravitational wave.  Neutron stars spiral up to a very high frequency.  the black holes that merged were each about 30 solar masses.  2 neutron stars 30 times bigger than the sun are orbiting each other at 150 cycles/sec, so their total spiral for 2 bodies 300 cycles/sec.  black hole mergers do not produce an electromagnetic signal.  the neutron star spiral may produce a gamma ray signal.  Multi signal (messenger) astromony is becoming a big field.  Looking for all kinds of signals.  gamma, EMR, magnetic, seismic.  They have letters of agreement with 60 different laboratories collecting data.  Dozens of partners are alerted when they pick up a trigger.  and vice versa.  Double way of looking, check photons and neutrinos, to try and locate the place in space to look for where the trigger came from.

What goes on between first sight and announcement.  About 5 months between detection and publication.

detailed and laborious cross checking of the data to rule out the possibility that the signal was not gravitational. make sure there are no correlations with other sienvironmentsl gnals.  Also rigorous checking with the other detector.  make sure that it wasn’t something environmental or internal that set them off.  also rule out that it wasn’t an injection, but an Accidentally planted self check.

modeling the event by using the wave form.  assigning parameters run through general and special relativity calculations to make sure that.

writing the paper… the first paper.  Hundreds of scientists at different places around the world, 1st draft, 2nddraft.took about a week.  They anticipate the process will speed up with time.

Yesterday’s discovery is today’s  background and tomorrow’s calibration. Dan Karmgard

One person’s signal is another person’s noise.  Dale Ingram

Project Poster work. 

Double earth quake discovered in LIGO, May 18, 2016.  we used usgs to find epicenter.  Rosa Zarate, Ecuador.

2:30 pm Friday:  Shane Larson

Center for Interdisciplineary Exploration and Research in Astronomy.  CIERA


twitter @sciencejedi

A new kind of astronomy; 

past pictures from hubble and our own telescopes lead us to be familiar with pictures of space objects, moon.

newer astronomy does not depend so much on photographs. IR, microwave, etc.  Trying to look at the sky, the Milky Way Galaxy blocks your view of whatever you are trying to see.  The Milky Way is called the Zone of Avoidance by astronomists. 

Can you harness the ideas of studying the cosmos as a whole.  Gravitational waves are transverse.  x and y.  Polarization state for gravitational waves are compression and expansion in a flat plane in front of you, when the wave is traveling toward you, perpendicular change.

What are gravitational waves, a consequence of special relativity.

If you can receive the wave of the collision that created the gravitry wave it should tell you something about the interaction that created the wave.  How does the phenomena you want to observe affect the space around you. It took 47 years to figure out how to build 1957 at the ChapelHill Conference (Parani)  His concentration was on factors of invariance between ople measure things in different ways.  Distance. = proper space time distance.

Two polarization states, plus and cross:  +  and  x

Gravitational wave spectrum freq v period. could convert to wavelengths.

period represents the time for one rotation.  seconds per cycle.

twice the orbital frequency is the gravitational frequency. 

Runaway mergers; citizen science program.



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