Almost 100 years ago Albert Einstein predicted about gravitational waves, a wave caused by the collision of two black holes in space. Now scientists declared the presence of gravitational waves reaching towards earth.
In 1916, Einstein, on the basis of the theory of relativity, predicted that gravitational waves are ripples in the curvature of spacetime which propagates as waves, and these waves transport energy as gravitational radiation. These waves travel at the speed of light and cannot be stopped or blocked by anything.
Some 1.2 billion years ago, when two black holes collided they produced a gravitational wave or ripples in space-time. On September 15, 2015, that ripple was felt by some special instrument. The phenomenon was observed by the two US-based underground detectors known as LIGO (Lase Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory), a large-scale physics experiment and observatory to detect gravitational wave. It took months to confirm by scientists to verify the data.
“The waveform that we can calculate based on Einstein’s theory of 1916 matches exactly what we observed in 2015,” said David Shoemaker, the leader of the LIGO team.
“It looked like a chirp, it looked like something that started at low frequencies – for us low frequency means 20 or 30 hertz, that’s like the lowest note on a bass guitar, sweeping very rapidly up over just a fraction of second, up to 150 hertz or so, sort of near middle C on a piano,” he explained.
Indian scientists also gave a contribution to detect this gravitational wave. Sanjeev Dhurandhar and Satya Prakash of Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune, proposed a method to detect gravitational waves. Another group, led by Bala Iyer at the Raman Research Institute had also developed methods to calculate modelling of gravitational waves from black holes and neutron stars.
Prime Minister also applauded the efforts of Indian scientists. “Immensely proud that Indian scientists played an important role in this challenging quest,” he tweeted. “Hope to make forward to make even bigger contribution with an advanced gravitational wave detector in the country.”
Now, India is trying to get LIGO at an estimated cost of 1,000 crores. It would bring greater opportunity to Indian Scientists in the field of astrophysics.