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The study describes the challenges and opportunities for detecting high frequency gravitational waves.

An example of GW’s coherent source. Credit: Nancy Aggarwal

Electromagnetic waves and gravitational waves are the only means available for large-scale research in the universe. For thousands of years, only the former could be used with the naked eye astronomical observations by ancients based on the reception of visible light, or with current super-telescopes operating in different bands of the EM spectrum from radio to gamma rays.


The effect of gravity can be inferred from the relative movement of celestial bodies. The first direct measurements of gravity waves were made only in 2015. This was done by a laser interferometer gravity wave station (LIGO in the US, Virgo detector in Italy). As the media emphasized at the time, this feat is a whole new window for exploring space.

So far, windows have only been investigated in a relatively narrow frequency band ranging from 10 Hz (10 Hz) to 10 kHz (10).Four Hz). Challenges and Opportunities to Detect Gravitational Waves at Much Higher Frequency from Megahertz (10)6 From Hz) to gigahertz (10)9 Hz) was the focus of the face-to-face meeting held in Trieste, Italy in 2019 before the pandemic.

A commentary on the workshop discussion there and a review of the literature on this topic were published in a journal article. Live review of relativity..

One of the authors is Odylio Denys de Aguiar, a senior researcher at the National Institute for Space Research (INPE). This initiative was supported by FAPESP through regular research grants and thematic projects with Aguiar as Principal Investigator.

“Very compact materials must vibrate extremely in order to emit in the considered spectral band. high frequency.. This can happen, for example, in a mini-black hole that is less than a kilometer in diameter and whose mass is less than the mass of the Sun or the Earth, “says Aguiar.

As the researchers in the article pointed out, “No known astrophysical object is small and dense enough to emit at frequencies above 10 kHz, so gravity waves are discovered at higher frequencies. Shows a new physics that goes beyond the standard model of elementary particle physics, for example linked to exotic astrophysical objects (such as primitive ones). Black Hole Or for a cosmological event in the early universe, such as a boson star) or a phase transition. […] Cosmic string, thermal fluctuation after reheating, etc. “

If there are detections, check, modify, or exclude these theoretical formulations for new physics.

Astronomy and cosmology Electromagnetic waves We have reached a higher frequency band beyond the visible light portion of the spectrum. Similarly, detecting gravitational waves at frequencies above 10 kHz (kHz) opens a new window in space.

“In particular, it has become possible to obtain information about the period from the Big Bang to the emission of background cosmic radiation, which is now being captured in the form of microwaves,” Agiar said. “During that period of nearly 400,000 years, electromagnetic radiation was so tightly bound to matter that it could not propagate freely, but gravitational waves propagated without hindrance, forming a potentially detectable background. There is likely to be.”

The main obstacle is technology. “The higher the frequency, the smaller the amplitude of the wave, because, like the EM spectrum, the gravity wave spectrum follows a power law as a function of frequency with a negative exponent,” Aguiar explained. “In other words, nature is more generous at low frequencies, as you can see from the graph above. Website It shows the expected amplitudes of sources of astrophysics and cosmology in the universe and the sensitivity of major projects for detecting gravitational waves at frequencies below 10 kHz. “

None of the various suggestions reviewed in this article reached the required sensitivity. At best, they were able to achieve a level of sensitivity six orders of magnitude lower. However, the author believes that less than 50 years ago, laser interferometers were so insensitive that they were “experimentally of little interest,” according to Kip Thorne, one of the leading pioneers in gravitational wave research. I remember being done. Student Charles Meissner and their academic advisor John Archibald Wheeler. Thorne won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics after the first detection of gravitational waves by the LIGO laser interferometer.

According to Aguiar, a technical solution for detecting highs-frequency Gravitational waves You won’t necessarily need a project that costs billions of dollars, but it must be groundbreaking and innovative.


Gravitational Wave: LISA and New Basic Field Detection


For more information:
Nancy Aggarwal et al, Challenges and Opportunities for Gravitational Wave Search at Frequency MHz to GHz, Live review of relativity (2021). DOI: 10.1007 / s41114-021-00032-5

Quote: In the survey, the high frequency gravity wave (February 10, 2022) acquired from https: //phys.org/news/2022-02-opportunities-high-frequency-gravitational.html on February 10, 2022. Describes the challenges and opportunities to detect.

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The study describes the challenges and opportunities for detecting high frequency gravitational waves.

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