Two physicists are interested in determining what happens when two black holes collide. Specifically, they are interested in whether or not it is possible to trace gravitational waves by measuring disrupted particles. The number of permutations available implies that it is difficult to run through all the possible calculations, even when a supercomputer is used. Two researchers, Field and Khanna, were able to model mass ratios of 3-to-1 for the black holes, and the accuracy of the results led them to believe they could devise models to predict what numerical relativity cannot. Highly sophisticated L-shaped instruments at specialized observatories have been devised to measure the waves of these collisions. Evidence of smaller black holes interacting with much larger ones can be used to achieve highly accurate point particle approximations. Uncovering the mysteries of dark energy originating from the Big Band is just one of the many secondary discoveries of this research.

Key Takeaways:

  • Black hole collisions produce vibrations from gravitational waves which must be detected and compared to complex mathematical models.
  • Researchers Scott Field and Gaurav Khanna produced a model that simplifies the process but remains accurate.
  • Their work creates opportunities to detect mergers of black holes of very unequal sizes.

“A gravitational wave observatory like LIGO needs to have a large number of solutions to draw upon.”

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