DIY gravitational waves with "BlackHoles @ Home"

DIY gravitational waves with "BlackHoles @ Home"

The BlackHoles @ Home project uses highly efficient simulation grids to model binary black hole collisions on desktop computers. The black dots represent the horizons of the black holes for two black holes of different masses. Credit: Z.Etienne / WVU

Researchers hoping to better interpret the data from the detection of gravitational waves generated by the binary black hole collision are directed to the public for help.

Zachariah Etienne, assistant professor at the University of West Virginia, is leading what will soon become a voluntary computer effort in the world. The public will be invited to lend their own computers to help the scientific community uncover the secrets contained in the gravitational waves observed when black holes are smashed.

The first LIGO detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes in 2015 opened a new window to the universe, allowing scientists to observe cosmic events extending over billions of dollars. Years and better understand the composition of the Universe. For many scientists, this discovery has also intensified efforts to further test theories to explain how the universe works, with a particular focus on inference. as much information as possible about the black holes before their collision.

First planned by Albert Einstein in 1916, gravitational waves are undulations or perturbations in space-time that encode important information on the modification of gravitational fields.

Since the discovery of 2015, LIGO and Virgo have detected gravitational waves from eight additional collisions in black holes. This month, LIGO and Virgo have started new series of observations with unprecedented sensitivities.

"As our gravitational wave detectors become more sensitive, we will have to significantly step up our efforts to understand all the information encoded in gravitational waves coming from colliding binary black holes," said Etienne. "We are turning to the general public to help us in these efforts, which involve generating an unprecedented number of consistent simulations of these extremely energetic collisions.It will truly be an inclusive effort, and we hope in particular to inspire the next generation of scientists. . " this growing field of gravitational wave astrophysics ".

His team – and the scientific community in general – needs computing capabilities to perform the simulations needed to cover all the possibilities related to properties and other information contained in gravitational waves.

"Every desktop will be able to perform a unique simulation of colliding black holes," said Etienne. By seeking public participation through the use of a large number of personal desktops, Etienne and others hope to greatly increase the throughput of the theoretical predictions of the gravitational waves needed to extract information from the observations of the collisions.

Black holes are known to contain two physical quantities: spin and mass. The spin, for example, can then be decomposed into direction and speed. Etienne's colleagues are therefore studying a total of eight parameters when LIGO or Virgo detect waves from a collision of two black holes.

"The simulations we have to perform, with the help of the public, are designed to fill large gaps in our knowledge of gravitational waves resulting from these collisions by covering as many possibilities as possible for these eight parameters." black hole simulations are far too small to properly cover this wide space of possibilities, "said Etienne.

"This work aims to provide an essential service to the scientific community: a vast and unprecedented catalog of coherent theoretical predictions of gravitational waves that can be observed in black hole collisions." These predictions assume that the theory of gravitational Einstein, the general relativity, is correct, so we will give you a more precise idea of ​​its importance: if the effects of Einstein's theory of relativity were not taken into account, GPS systems would be disabled per kilometer day, to name just one example. "

Etienne and his team are building a website with downloadable software based on the same Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, or BOINC, used for the SETI @ Home project and other scientific applications. The free middleware system is designed to help harness the processing power of thousands of personal computers around the world. The West Virginia team has named its BlackHoles @ Home project and expects it to be operational later this year.

They have already created a website where the public can begin to learn about the effort:

Scientists detect the largest known black hole collision

More information:
The presentation "The BlackHoles @ Home Project: Black Hole Binary Files on the Desktop" was held on Saturday, April 13 in the Governor's Square 17 room at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. Summary:

Provided by
American Physical Society

DIY gravitational waves with "BlackHoles @ Home" (April 14, 2019)
recovered on April 14, 2019

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair use for study or private research purposes, no
part may be reproduced without written permission. Content is provided for information only.

Source link