Have gravitational waves been spotted?

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
A century ago Einstein predicted that gravitational waves could be created by violent events such as black holes colliding with each other. Newspapers such as The Guardian and the Daily Mail are saying that a conference to take place this week may be to announce that they have been detected; however they also say that it could just be an update as to where the investigations are.

Have Gravitational Waves Finally Been Spotted?

Dr Sheldon Cooper was not available for comment.;)
Revolution in physics as gravitational waves seen for first time

When they eventually merged, the single black hole that remained was 62 times the mass of the sun – three solar masses lighter than the two original black holes combined. That missing mass all went into creating gravitational waves that fluttered space-time like a sheet. In those last moments before the final merger, the spiralling black holes released more energy in gravitational waves than all the stars in the universe combined released as light.

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It seems so ironic today that Einstein whose theories had prdicted it all couldn't bring himself to actually believe in those things. Even though his theories predicted the existence of black holes he was convinced they couldn't actually exist, that they were just too unbelievable.
Is it just me or does nobody seem to give a shit. Have you noticed all the headlines saying this is a big big deal and it's remarkable and ground breaking. Biggest discovery in a decade was another, tranformational was another.

Yet there is a general lack of interest.

Did I just watch a Horizon special about this great breakthrough? No I just watched a 'science' program about cats and dogs, which explained nothing but the ****ing obvious.
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This discovery has blown up all over my social media feeds and I have read the articles and still can't figure out how this impacts society. Does it solve any of the World's problems or is this just billions of dollars flushed down a scientific toilet?
I must admit, I love science and especially matters relating to space but I don't get the gravitational wave thing so it doesn't even get a 'meh' on my interest guage. A big factor is that there has been no 'so what?' Reporting alongside this great discovery.
At the moment it is pure science, knowledge for the sake of knowing. It may or may not lead to applications on the future but we are curious and if we lose that sense of curiosity we will be the worse for it. imo.
So is dark matter just lots of wandering 'small' blackholes all over the place?
Almost certainly not.

MACHO dark matter (dark matter consisting of dark compact objects such as black holes) is pretty much ruled out by searches for microlensing events (which would have to be much more common if the BHs accounted for a significant portion of the missing matter).

That beings said, I think I remember there being a small window of BH MACHO masses that was not ruled out by present measurements. Interestingly we are now finding BH binaries in exactly that range.
Can you prove that? Do we really know enough about forces to be able to answer the question?
Theortically? absolutely.

Experimentally? LIGO's observations put extremely tight bounds on potential sub-luminal motion of gravitational waves. I can link you the paper if you want.
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