Other confirmations of general relativity
« on: September 05, 2018, 02:50:23 PM »
Over on another thread I saw most of a page of arguing over the credibility of the solar eclipse experiments to confirm general relativity. The problem that I see with that, is that the math has been confirmed in many other ways, including:

  • Observation of gravitational waves by LIGO (Did nobody think to mention this? 'Twas all over the news a while back.)
  • Experimental confirmation of special relativity (Since general relativity is a requirement for special relativity when in an accelerating reference frame.)
  • Astronomical observation of gravitational redshift (Someone found a bright star in an eccentric orbit around Saggitarius A* and observed its spectrum as it went around periapsis, accounting for Doppler shift and time dilation from velocity.)
  • Earthbound observation of gravitational redshift (Someone shot a laser up a long pole and recorded measurable differences in wavelength between the top and bottom.)

All these will need to be rejected if GR should be overturned.
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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Other confirmations of general relativity
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2018, 05:30:54 PM »
There is controversy over LIGO. Take a look at this. I'm quoting it nearly in full because of the technical nature of the article:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/06/16/was-it-all-just-noise-independent-analysis-casts-doubt-on-ligos-detections/#2e40f4f25516

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Was It All Just Noise? Independent Analysis Casts Doubt On LIGO's Detections

After an effort of more than 100 years and a collaboration involving over 1,000 scientists, we all celebrated. It was Feb. 11, 2016, and LIGO had just announced their first direct detection of gravitational waves. Analysis of the data attributed the signal to a black hole merger that happened several billion light years away. But what if there wasn't a signal at all, but rather patterns and correlations in the noise that fooled us into believing we were seeing something that wasn't real? A group of Danish researchers just submitted a paper arguing that the celebration might have been premature.

A team of five researchers — James Creswell, Sebastian von Hausegger, Andrew D. Jackson, Hao Liu and Pavel Naselsky — from the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, presented their own analysis of the openly available LIGO data. And, unlike the LIGO collaboration itself, they come to a disturbing conclusion: that these gravitational waves might not be signals at all, but rather patterns in the noise that have hoodwinked even the best scientists working on this puzzle.

The LIGO gravitational wave observatory consists of two experimental sites – one in Livingston, Louisiana and one in Hanford, Washington – each of which is a laser interferometer with arms that are several kilometers in length. Even for these super-sensitive detectors, however, gravitational waves are difficult to measure. The problem isn’t so much the absolute weakness of the waves, the problem is that there are many other disturbances that also wiggle the interferometer. The challenge, thus, is to tell the signal from the noise.

To identify a gravitational wave signal, LIGO relies on the combined signal from both detectors. A gravitational wave will travel through each site at a different time, since the signal travels at the speed of light, but the two sites are separated by thousands of kilometers. The signals that arrive should be correlated, but with a characteristic time-lag and an amplitude offset, since they're oriented differently in space (on the surface of the curved Earth) in three dimensions. However, there shouldn’t be any such correlation in the noise. At least, that's the idea.

The Danish group found, however, that the noise at both detector sites — and puzzlingly, between the two supposedly independent detectors — is also correlated. And worse, the correlation time is similar to the time-lag between the recorded signals, for each of the three so-far confirmed events. According to Andrew Jackson, the leader of the Danish group,

    "If the correlation properties of signal and the noise are similar, how is one to know precisely what is signal and what is noise?"

That's a really important realization. A correlation in the noise would not affect the individual signals at each of the sites. But in order to achieve a highly significant signal between the detectors, the LIGO collaboration takes into account how both signals are correlated. If this correlation were not reliable, because (for example) there was the possibility that noise correlations contaminated their data, the statistical significance of the detection would be reduced. In other words, what appears to be a signal might actually be caused merely by fluctuations. How much the statistical significance would be affected, however, the Danish researchers have not quantified.



To get a visual impression of how noisy the data is, look at the above figure. This plot shows the measurement in a 32-second window around the first LIGO detection. The red curves are for the experimental site in Livingston, the black ones for Hansford. The outer curves with the large amplitudes are the raw data. The inner two curves are the cleaned data – enlarged by a factor of 100 so you can even see it! The little bump at about 16 seconds is the event.

A few weeks ago, Andrew Jackson presented his results in Munich. A member of the local physics faculty (who’d rather not be named) finds the results “quite disturbing” and hopes that the collaboration will take the criticism of the Danes to heart. “Until LIGO will provide clear scientific (!) explanation why these findings are wrong, I would say the result of the paper to some extent invalidates the reliability of the LIGO discovery.”

Jackson is no unknown to the LIGO collaboration. Upon my inquiry with a member of the LIGO collaboration what to make of the paper, I got the annoyed reply that the collaboration’s management recommends to “respectfully respond that we have talked at some length with the group in the past and do not agree on the methods being used and thus with the conclusions.” Another let me know that a response is not planned.

A major shortcoming of the Danish group’s analysis that they pointed out to me is that the Danes use methods based on tutorials from the LIGO Website, but these methods do not reach the quality standard of the – more intricate – data analysis that was used to obtain the published results.

A specific detail that might explain the finding is that the LIGO strain data has a random drift, which is slow, but large compared to the noise itself. Cutting out part of the signal – as in the 32-second window displayed above – and Fourier-analyzing it then bears a risk of surfacing artificial peaks in higher harmonics of the time-window. This artifact can be remedied by smoothly fading out the ends of the interval, something that was either not done or not mentioned in the group's criticism. This might be a possible reason for the correlation they find.

Andrew Jackson himself would be happy to be shown wrong. He hopes that “our concerns will be taken constructively and lead both to improved methods for data analysis and to a better understanding of LIGO’s results and its exciting long-term potential.”

Making sense of somebody else’s data is tricky, as I can confirm from my own experience. Therefore, I think it is likely the Danish group made a mistake. Nevertheless, I would like to see a clear-cut explanation and “they did something wrong” is too vague for my comfort. This is a Nobel-worthy discovery and much is at stake. Even the smallest doubt that something is at odds should be erased.

Medium brings us a little more up to date.

https://medium.com/starts-with-a-bang/how-uncertain-are-ligos-first-gravitational-wave-detections-d34209811db4

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On September 14, 2015, two black holes of 36 and 29 solar masses merged together from over a billion light years away. In the inspiral and merger process, about 5% of their mass was converted into pure energy. It wasn’t energy the way we’re used to it, though, where photons carry it away in the form of electromagnetic energy. Rather, it was gravitational radiation, where waves ripple through the fabric of space itself at the speed of light. The ripples were so powerful, they stretched and compressed the entire Earth by the width of a few atoms, allowing the LIGO apparatus to directly detect gravitational waves for the first time. This confirmed Einstein’s General Relativity in an entirely new way, but a new study has cast doubt on whether the detection is as robust as the LIGO team claims it is. Despite a detailed response from a member of the LIGO collaboration, doubts remain, and the issue deserves an in-depth analysis for everyone to ponder.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2018, 05:53:16 PM by Tom Bishop »

Re: Other confirmations of general relativity
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2018, 06:14:00 PM »
https://medium.com/starts-with-a-bang/how-uncertain-are-ligos-first-gravitational-wave-detections-d34209811db4

you skipped over a fairly important bit:

Quote
The whole point of this, by the way, is not to claim that LIGO may have falsely detected gravitational waves. Even in the most extreme scenario, where there is noise contaminating the results seen between both detectors, a strong gravitational wave signal — one that matches the template for black hole mergers — still appears. The worry, rather, is that the noise has been dealt with sub-optimally, and that perhaps some of the signal has been subtracted out while some of the noise has been left in.  When the Danes performed their full analysis, building off the methodology of LIGO, that’s what they are forced to conclude.
...
And this is something that I think everyone is taking seriously: making sure that what we’re subtracting off and calling “noise” is actually 100% noise (or as close as possible to it), while what we’re keeping as “signal” is actually 100% signal with 0% noise. It’s never possible, in practice, to do this exactly, but that’s the goal.
...
What’s vital to understand is that no one can rightfully claim that LIGO is wrong, but rather that one team can claim that perhaps LIGO has room for improvement in their analysis. And this is a very real danger that has plagued experimental physicists and astronomical observers for as long as those scientific fields have existed. The issue is not that LIGO’s results are in doubt, but rather that LIGO’s analysis may be imperfect.

What you’re witnessing is one small aspect of how the scientific process plays out in real-time.
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Re: Other confirmations of general relativity
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2018, 06:46:42 PM »
Ah yes, the patterns that are much greater in amplitude than the regular noise, have the exact spectrographs predicted by the equations, and whose delays between facilities indicate a specific direction in which astronomers can point telescopes and see the aftermath of a neutron star collision, are obviously not actually gravitational waves from such an event; they're obviously just completely random noise that tells us nothing.

If it looks like a duck, and it sounds like a duck, then it's probably a duck.
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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Other confirmations of general relativity
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2018, 07:29:49 PM »
From earlier in the first article:

Quote


To get a visual impression of how noisy the data is, look at the above figure. This plot shows the measurement in a 32-second window around the first LIGO detection. The red curves are for the experimental site in Livingston, the black ones for Hansford. The outer curves with the large amplitudes are the raw data. The inner two curves are the cleaned data – enlarged by a factor of 100 so you can even see it! The little bump at about 16 seconds is the event.

The little "bump" at the 16 second mark is just as large as some of the other bumps around it.


On mathform.org there was discussion on this topic:  Is NSF Covering Up LIGO Fraud?

The following sources are provided:

http://www.nbi.ku.dk/gravitational-waves/gravitational-waves.html

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James Creswell, Sebastian von Hausegger, Andrew D. Jackson, Hao Liu, Pavel Naselsky, June 27, 2017: "As a member of the LIGO collaboration, Ian Harry states that he "tried to reproduce the results quoted in 'On the time lags of the LIGO signals'", but that he "[could] not reproduce the correlations claimed in section 3". Subsequent discussions with Ian Harry have revealed that this failure was due to several errors in his code. After necessary corrections were made, his script reproduces our results. His published version was subsequently updated. [...] It would appear that the 7 ms time delay associated with the GW150914 signal is also an intrinsic property of the noise. The purpose in having two independent detectors is precisely to ensure that, after sufficient cleaning, the only genuine correlations between them will be due to gravitational wave effects. The results presented here suggest this level of cleaning has not yet been obtained and that the identification of the GW events needs to be re-evaluated with a more careful consideration of noise properties."

http://www.nbi.ku.dk/gravitational-waves/gravitational-waves-comment2.html

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James Creswell, Sebastian von Hausegger, Andrew D. Jackson, Hao Liu, Pavel Naselsky, August 21, 2017: "In view of unsubstantiated claims of errors in our calculations, we appreciated the opportunity to go through our respective codes together - line by line when necessary - until agreement was reached. This check did not lead to revisions in the results of calculations reported in versions 1 and 2 of arXiv:1706.04191 or in the version of our paper published in JCAP. It did result in changes to the codes used by our visitors [LIGO conspirators]. [...] In light of the above, our view should be clear: We believe that LIGO has not yet attained acceptable standards of data cleaning. Since we regard proof of suitable cleaning as a mandatory prerequisite for any meaningful comparison with specific astrophysical models of GW events, we continue to regard LIGO's claims of GW discovery as interesting but premature."

The above articles were written later in the year than the Forbes article which I quoted verbatim in the second post.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2018, 10:54:46 PM by Tom Bishop »

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Other confirmations of general relativity
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2018, 07:41:34 PM »
Rana Adhikari, a professor of Physics at Caltech, and member of the LIGO team, while of the opinion that these results show something, admits that he doesn't even know what it is.

https://blog.ycombinator.com/the-technical-challenges-of-measuring-gravitational-waves-rana-adhikari-of-ligo/

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Rana Adhikari: "You split it in two and you send it in two separate directions, and then when the waves come back, they interfere with each other. And you look at differences in that interference to tell you the difference in how long it took for one beam to go one way, and the other beam to go the other way. The way I said it was really careful there because there's a lot of confusion about the idea of, these are waves and space is bending, and everything is shrinking, and how come the light's not shrinking, and so on. We don't really know. There's no real difference between the ideas of space and time warping. It could be space warping or time warping but the only thing that we really know is what we measure. And that's the mantra of the true empirical person. We sent out the light and the light comes back and interferes, and the pattern changes. And that tells us something about effectively the delay that the light's on. And it could be that the space-time curved so that the light took longer to get there. But you could also imagine that there was a change in the time in one path as opposed to the other instead of the space but it's a mixture of space and time. So it sort of depends on your viewpoint.

Not even he is calling this a proof for GR.

Interestingly, according to this article, Einstein himself did not believe in Gravitational Waves:

https://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/why-albert-einstein-continues-to-make-waves-as-black-holes-collide-1.188114#full

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Einstein believed in neither gravitational waves nor black holes. [...] Dr Natalia Kiriushcheva, a theoretical and computational physicist at the University of Western Ontario (UWO), Canada, says that while it was Einstein who initiated the gravitational waves theory in a paper in June 1916, it was an addendum to his theory of general relativity and by 1936, he had concluded that such things did not exist. Furthermore - as a paper published by Einstein in the Annals of Mathematics in October, 1939 made clear, he also rejected the possibility of black holes.

Article continues:

Quote
On September 16, 2010, a false signal - a so-called "blind injection" - was fed into both the Ligo and Virgo systems as part of an exercise to "test ... detection capabilities". At the time, the vast majority of the hundreds of scientists working on the equipment had no idea that they were being fed a dummy signal. The truth was not revealed until March the following year, by which time several papers about the supposed sensational discovery of gravitational waves were poised for publication. "While the scientists were disappointed that the discovery was not real, the success of the analysis was a compelling demonstration of the collaboration's readiness to detect gravitational waves," Ligo reported at the time. But take a look at the visualisation of the faked signal, says Dr Kiriushcheva, and compare it to the image apparently showing the collision of the twin black holes, seen on the second page of the recently-published discovery paper. "They look very, very similar," she says. "It means that they knew exactly what they wanted to get and this is suspicious for us: when you know what you want to get from science, usually you can get it." The apparent similarity is more curious because the faked event purported to show not a collision between two black holes, but the gravitational waves created by a neutron star spiralling into a black hole. The signals appear so similar, in fact, that Dr Kiriushcheva questions whether the "true" signal might actually have been an echo of the fake, "stored in the computer system from when they turned off the equipment five years before".

Was LIGO experiment repeated? From the article above:

Quote
For Dr Kiriushcheva and her colleagues, perhaps the biggest question mark hanging over the Ligo findings is that for any scientific experiment to have full credibility, its results must be independently repeatable – clearly impossible when only Ligo and its scientists have access to the necessary funding and equipment.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2018, 08:05:36 PM by Tom Bishop »

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Other confirmations of general relativity
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2018, 12:31:40 AM »
They aren't even correlating this with some event seen in the sky.

https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/news/ligo20170601

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While LIGO continues to detect gravitational waves from merging black holes, electromagnetic (EM) observers are still hoping to spot a glimmer of light emanating from a gravitational wave event. To help make this happen, LIGO has partnered with 77 observatories around the world (including a couple in orbit), agreeing to let them know when we’ve detected a gravitational wave so they can look for some afterglow.

After this latest event, all 77 partners were alerted and 34 were able to search for some light. As with our previous two detections, nothing was seen, but that’s not surprising for two big reasons:

First, black holes are “black” because no light can escape them, even when they smash into each other, so we don’t expect to see light coming from the black holes themselves.

The promotional articles make it seem as if they were doing something a little more respectable. They are just timing some light beams and making conclusions.

This sounds like a bunch of government-funded nonsense.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2018, 12:36:15 AM by Tom Bishop »

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Offline markjo

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Re: Other confirmations of general relativity
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2018, 12:39:37 AM »
They aren't even correlating this with some event seen in the sky.
Maybe not with that one, but they are with this one.
https://phys.org/news/2018-07-neutron-star-merger-emerge-sun.html
Quote
The binary neutron star merger GW170817 occurred 130 million light years away in a galaxy named NGC 4993. It was detected in August 2017 by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (Adv-LIGO), and by Gamma Ray Burst (GRB) observations, and then became the first ever neutron star merger to be observed and confirmed by visual astronomy.
Abandon hope all ye who press enter here.

Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.

If you can't demonstrate it, then you shouldn't believe it.

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Other confirmations of general relativity
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2018, 01:09:37 AM »
Here is the abstract for that paper mentioned in the article:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-018-0511-3

Quote
The optical afterglow of the short gamma-ray burst associated with GW170817

The binary neutron star merger GW170817 was the first multi-messenger event observed in both gravitational and electromagnetic waves1,2. The electromagnetic signal began approximately two seconds post-merger with a weak, short burst of gamma rays3, which was followed over the next hours and days by the ultraviolet, optical and near-infrared emission from a radioactively powered kilonova4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11. Later, non-thermal rising X-ray and radio emission was observed12,13. The low luminosity of the gamma rays and the rising non-thermal flux from the source at late times could indicate that we are outside the opening angle of the beamed relativistic jet. Alternatively, the emission could be arising from a cocoon of material formed from the interaction between a jet and the merger ejecta13,14,15. Here we present late-time optical detections and deep near-infrared limits on the emission from GW170817 at 110 days post-merger. Our new observations are at odds with expectations of late-time emission from kilonova models, being too bright and blue16,17. Instead, the emission arises from the interaction between the relativistic ejecta of GW170817 and the interstellar medium. We show that this emission matches the expectations of a Gaussian-structured relativistic jet, which would have launched a high-luminosity, short gamma-ray burst to an aligned observer. However, other jet structure or cocoon models can also match current data—the future evolution of the afterglow will directly distinguish the origin of the emission.

They are describing an event that took place over days. I don't see mention where the "gravity waves" part come in, other than mentioned in the first sentence. At some point over those days they saw a blip from Advanced LIGO and somehow correlated it to this event apart from other blips? They saw it immediately with the EM?

I am not going to purchase this paper. But surely if this were a groundbreaking demonstration of Adv-LIGO's detection of "gravity waves," that would be in the abstract or title of the paper. The avoidance suggests that they are desperate to turn "gravity waves" into a thing.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2018, 01:26:03 AM by Tom Bishop »

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Re: Other confirmations of general relativity
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2018, 01:25:32 AM »
It is in the abstract, as you even stated. Very strange that you say it isn’t. As for the title, technical papers have technical titles, not titles to impress lay people.

Does everything that doesn’t fit with your preconceived ideas get discarded so casually?
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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Other confirmations of general relativity
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2018, 01:40:58 AM »
It is in the abstract, as you even stated. Very strange that you say it isn’t. As for the title, technical papers have technical titles, not titles to impress lay people.

Does everything that doesn’t fit with your preconceived ideas get discarded so casually?

The abstract is supposed to provide the premise and main conclusions for a paper. If this first-ever big gravity-wave event was truly sensational, it would be in there as the main attraction, surely.

Dr Kiriushcheva's comments in The National about LIGO are succinct:

Quote
It means that they [LIGO] knew exactly what they wanted to get and this is suspicious for us: when you know what you want to get from science, usually you can get it.

See this quote from Thomas Edison, as related in The Romance of Science.

Quote
That it may be seen we are not alone in speaking thus plainly, we will quote from Things to Come, part of an address by Mr. Thomas A. Edison, originally printed in Suggestive Therapeutics, he says: 

"There are more frauds in modern science than anywhere else. Take a whole pile of them that I could name, and you will find uncertainty, if not imposition, in half of  what  they state as scientific truth. They have time and again set down experiments as done by them, curious out-of-the-way experiments  that  they  never did, and upon which they have founded so-called scientific truths. I have been thrown off my track often by them, and for months at a time. Try the experiment yourself and you will find the result altogether different"   

Such is the testimony of a practical scientist and experimenter, and we know his testimony is true as regards to theoretical astronomy. We could quote other testimonies, but as we have already given proof that such "frauds" are practiced, we think it unnecessary to do so here.

ZETETES

The above quotes rings a bell of truth. The government has spent millions of dollars on LIGO and results are demanded. There are careers that depend on this.

Do you think that scientists would seek to publish things that don't get them grant money, or things that do make them grant money?

It's pretty simple. We need peer review and clear demonstration of what is being claimed. Controlled Experimentation. Peer Review. You know. Reasonable science.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2018, 02:13:14 AM by Tom Bishop »

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Offline markjo

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Re: Other confirmations of general relativity
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2018, 03:40:28 AM »
It is in the abstract, as you even stated. Very strange that you say it isn’t. As for the title, technical papers have technical titles, not titles to impress lay people.

Does everything that doesn’t fit with your preconceived ideas get discarded so casually?

The abstract is supposed to provide the premise and main conclusions for a paper. If this first-ever big gravity-wave event was truly sensational, it would be in there as the main attraction, surely.

Tom, read the title again.  That paper is focusing on the optical afterglow of the merger, not the gravitational waves.  Perhaps this paper might be more helpful (and it's free to download, in case you're interested).
https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.161101
Quote
GW170817: Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Neutron Star Inspiral
B. P. Abbott et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration)
Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 161101 – Published 16 October 2017

Abstract

On August 17, 2017 at 12∶41:04 UTC the Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo gravitational-wave detectors made their first observation of a binary neutron star inspiral. The signal, GW170817, was detected with a combined signal-to-noise ratio of 32.4 and a false-alarm-rate estimate of less than one per 8.0×104  years. We infer the component masses of the binary to be between 0.86 and 2.26  M⊙, in agreement with masses of known neutron stars. Restricting the component spins to the range inferred in binary neutron stars, we find the component masses to be in the range 1.17–1.60  M⊙, with the total mass of the system 2.74−0.01+0.04M⊙. The source was localized within a sky region of 28  deg2 (90% probability) and had a luminosity distance of 40−14+8  Mpc, the closest and most precisely localized gravitational-wave signal yet. The association with the γ-ray burst GRB 170817A, detected by Fermi-GBM 1.7 s after the coalescence, corroborates the hypothesis of a neutron star merger and provides the first direct evidence of a link between these mergers and short γ-ray bursts. Subsequent identification of transient counterparts across the electromagnetic spectrum in the same location further supports the interpretation of this event as a neutron star merger. This unprecedented joint gravitational and electromagnetic observation provides insight into astrophysics, dense matter, gravitation, and cosmology.
Abandon hope all ye who press enter here.

Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.

If you can't demonstrate it, then you shouldn't believe it.

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Other confirmations of general relativity
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2018, 04:44:48 AM »
Take a look at that article. It's standard Theoretical Physics fund-raising baloney. It is not a confirmation of General Relativity. Even Einstein knew that he had to try to make an accurate prediction in order to get his theory off of the ground (to which he used starlight bending, and which we discuss in the other thread).

What is the accurate prediction that is being verified in that paper? What does General Relativity predict, exactly, about the properties of the blip they are picking out of the noise?

In this thread the tone of these propaganda pieces went from "We found Gravity Waves!" to "We (maybe) found a blip in a bunch of noise, but we admit that we have no idea what it really means!"

They aren't even opening themselves up for peer review. Consider the following article:

https://telescoper.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/ligo-and-open-science/

Quote
LIGO and Open Science

I’ve just come from another meeting here at the Niels Bohr Institute between some members of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the authors of the `Danish Paper‘. As with the other one I attended last week it was both interesting and informative. I’m not going to divulge any of the details of the discussion, but I anticipate further developments that will put some of them into the public domain fairly soon and will comment on them as and when that happens.

I think an important aspect of the way science works is that when a given individual or group publishes a result, it should be possible for others to reproduce it (or not as the case may be). In normal-sized laboratory physics it suffices to explain the experimental set-up in the published paper in sufficient detail for another individual or group to build an equivalent replica experiment if they want to check the results. In `Big Science’, e.g. with LIGO or the Large Hadron Collider, it is not practically possible for other groups to build their own copy, so the best that can be done is to release the data coming from the experiment. A basic problem with reproducibility obviously arises when this does not happen.

In astrophysics and cosmology, results in scientific papers are often based on very complicated analyses of large data sets. This is also the case for gravitational wave experiments. Fortunately in astrophysics these days researchers are generally pretty good at sharing their data, but there are a few exceptions in that field. Particle physicists, by contrast, generally treat all their data as proprietary.

Even allowing open access to data doesn’t always solve the reproducibility problem. Often extensive numerical codes are needed to process the measurements and extract meaningful output. Without access to these pipeline codes it is impossible for a third party to check the path from input to output without writing their own version, assuming that there is sufficient information to do that in the first place. That researchers should publish their software as well as their results is quite a controversial suggestion, but I think it’s the best practice for science. In any case there are often intermediate stages between `raw’ data and scientific results, as well as ancillary data products of various kinds. I think these should all be made public. Doing that could well entail a great deal of effort, but I think in the long run that it is worth it.

I’m not saying that scientific collaborations should not have a proprietary period, just that this period should end when a result is announced, and that any such announcement should be accompanied by a release of the data products and software needed to subject the analysis to independent verification.

Now, if you are interested in trying to reproduce the analysis of data from the first detection of gravitational waves by LIGO, you can go here, where you can not only download the data but also find a helpful tutorial on how to analyse it.

This seems at first sight to be fully in the spirit of open science, but if you visit that page you will find this disclaimer:

"Please note that the results obtained here will not match precisely with numbers in our papers, due to various subtleties in the analysis that are discussed further down."

In other words, one can’t check the LIGO data analysis because not all the data and tools necessary to do that are not publicly available.  I know for a fact that this is the case because of the meetings going on here at NBI!

Given that the detection of gravitational waves is one of the most important breakthroughs ever made in physics, I think this is a matter of considerable regret. I also find it difficult to understand the reasoning that led the LIGO consortium to think it was a good plan only to go part of the way towards open science, by releasing only part of the information needed to reproduce the processing of the LIGO signals and their subsequent statistical analysis. There may be good reasons that I know nothing about, but at the moment it seems to me to me to represent a wasted opportunity.

Does that sound like honest science to you?

They have already pulled 'but the disclaimer!!" card to critics in their responses.

https://ligoskeptic.wordpress.com/2017/07/06/ligo-noise-yes-it-was-all-just-noise-how-the-ligo-team-is-foundationally-dishonest-just-like-bicep2-the-multiverse-maniacs-and-string-theorists-lol-ligo-ligo-provides-the-public-intentionally/

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When the Danish group found that the same noise was found in both detectors, thusly completely undermining the whole reason for there being two detectors in the first place, the LIGO team defended their fakey finding by stating that the tutorials they share with the public regarding how to analyze the data are WRONG:

    "A major shortcoming of the Danish group’s analysis that they pointed out to me is that the Danes use methods based on tutorials from the LIGO Website, but these methods do not reach the quality standard of the – more intricate – data analysis that was used to obtain the published results."

https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/06/16/was-it-all-just-noise-independent-analysis-casts-doubt-on-ligos-detections/#12bffdc15516

LOL LIGO!  Why not provide the public with tutorials that aren’t wrong?

All the big money is tied up in failure.  Fake experiments (BICEP2) “prove” fake theories (INFLATION).

The only way to advance as “a physicist” these days is to pledge one’s life to serving BIG SCIENCE hype, lies, and deceit over simple truth and beauty.  Today “Physicists” are chosen for their ability to  reject exalted evidence, common sense, and observation, while exalting in lies and hype.  Foundations and the government wire the multimillionaire multiverse maniacs millions of dollars from the taxpayer and investors, and grad students and postdocs advance in proportion to their ability to regurgitate the lies and follow the gorupthink programs of farcical failure.

This disclaimer still exists today on the LIGO/Adv-LIGO websites.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2018, 08:29:31 PM by Tom Bishop »

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Other confirmations of general relativity
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2018, 06:52:53 AM »
At one point, as a test of credibility, a few skeptics in the LIGO administration put in some fake signal data into the LIGO data and, rather than determining that it was an anomaly or that there was no observable event, the LIGO scientists observed the area of the sky it was coming from went to work making up an elaborate story, doing "science" with it, like in the paper Markjo presented.

https://www.researchgate.net/blog/post/a-null-result-is-not-a-failure

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...a blind injection test where only a select few expert administrators are able to put a fake signal in the data, maintaining strict confidentiality. They did just that in the early morning hours of 16 September 2010. Automated data analyses alerted us to an extraordinary event within eight minutes of data collection, and within 45 minutes we had our astronomer colleagues with optical telescopes imaging the area we estimated the gravitational wave to have come from. Since it came from the direction of the Canis Major constellation, this event picked up the nickname of the "Big Dog Event". For months we worked on vetting this candidate gravitational wave detection, extracting parameters that described the source, and even wrote a paper. Finally, at the next collaboration meeting, after all the work had been cataloged and we voted unanimously to publish the paper the next day. However, it was revealed immediately after the vote to be an injection and that our estimated parameters for the simulated source were accurate. Again, there was no detection, but we learned a great deal about our abilities to know when we detected a gravitational wave and that we can do science with the data. This became particularly useful starting in September 2015."

How do you "do science" and write a paper with data that was faked, on a section of the sky it did not come from, with stars and stellar events that did not produce it?

If you can do that, rather than identifying the issue, that sends your credibility down the drain.

This tells us that the underlying science and theories are really just a load of baloney. It is not real science.

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Offline stack

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Re: Other confirmations of general relativity
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2018, 07:24:56 AM »
At one point, as a test of credibility, a few skeptics in the LIGO administration put in some fake signal data into the LIGO data and, rather than determining that it was an anomaly or that there was no observable event, the LIGO scientists observed the area of the sky it was coming from went to work making up an elaborate story, doing "science" with it, like in the paper Markjo presented.

https://www.researchgate.net/blog/post/a-null-result-is-not-a-failure

Quote
...a blind injection test where only a select few expert administrators are able to put a fake signal in the data, maintaining strict confidentiality. They did just that in the early morning hours of 16 September 2010. Automated data analyses alerted us to an extraordinary event within eight minutes of data collection, and within 45 minutes we had our astronomer colleagues with optical telescopes imaging the area we estimated the gravitational wave to have come from. Since it came from the direction of the Canis Major constellation, this event picked up the nickname of the "Big Dog Event". For months we worked on vetting this candidate gravitational wave detection, extracting parameters that described the source, and even wrote a paper. Finally, at the next collaboration meeting, after all the work had been cataloged and we voted unanimously to publish the paper the next day. However, it was revealed immediately after the vote to be an injection and that our estimated parameters for the simulated source were accurate. Again, there was no detection, but we learned a great deal about our abilities to know when we detected a gravitational wave and that we can do science with the data. This became particularly useful starting in September 2015."

How do you "do science" and write a paper with data that was faked, on a section of the sky it did not come from, with stars and stellar events that did not produce it?

If you can do that, rather than identifying the issue, that sends your credibility down the drain.

This tells us that the underlying science and theories are really just a load of baloney. It is not real science.

I can’t make up my mind whether you are willfully being deceitful in your ‘interpretations’, just mistaken, or perhaps just sloppy. But you basically neutered the thrust of the paper you cited and bent it to your will by leaving some key phrases, sentences and paragraphs out.

You start with the quote, “…a blind injection test where only a select few expert administrators are able to put a fake signal in the data…” In order to bolster your claim that, "How do you "do science" and write a paper with data that was faked…”

When in actuality, if you had included the beginning of the sentence and the previous paragraph, it all makes clear sense. You left out all of this:

"How do we know our data analyses are not missing them? And, when we do detect one, how do we know that the science we have extracted from the signal is reliable?

The answer is to do a blind injection test where only a select few expert administrators are able to put a fake signal in the data, maintaining strict confidentiality.”

From the abstract:
"The cases reported in this study provide a snap-shot of the status of parameter estimation in preparation for the operation of advanced detectors.” i.e., the intent of the study.

i.e., real science
Not much is known about the celestial bodies and their distances.

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Offline markjo

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Re: Other confirmations of general relativity
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2018, 01:24:18 PM »
Take a look at that article. It's standard Theoretical Physics fund-raising BS. It is not a confirmation of General Relativity. Even Einstein knew that he had to try to make an accurate prediction in order to get his theory off of the ground (which he used starlight bending, and which we discuss in the other thread).

What is the accurate prediction that is being verified in that paper? What does General Relativity predict, exactly, about the properties of the blip they are picking out of the noise?
The prediction that is being verified is that merging massive bodies, like neutron stars, would create the specific blip that they're looking for.


In this thread the tone of these propaganda pieces went from "We found Gravity Waves!" to "We (maybe) found a blip in a bunch of noise, but we admit that we have no idea what it really means!"
I'm sure that you can find just about any opinion that you want about the validity of the science.  But those are just opinions.  Unless you have a working knowledge of GR and the finer points on observing gravitational waves, the question becomes one of who's opinion do you want to believe: the researchers or the skeptics?

They aren't even opening themselves up for peer review.
Of course they are.  That's why they publish their data and  results.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2018, 01:26:17 PM by markjo »
Abandon hope all ye who press enter here.

Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.

If you can't demonstrate it, then you shouldn't believe it.

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Other confirmations of general relativity
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2018, 03:01:14 PM »
I can’t make up my mind whether you are willfully being deceitful in your ‘interpretations’, just mistaken, or perhaps just sloppy. But you basically neutered the thrust of the paper you cited and bent it to your will by leaving some key phrases, sentences and paragraphs out.

You start with the quote, “…a blind injection test where only a select few expert administrators are able to put a fake signal in the data…” In order to bolster your claim that, "How do you "do science" and write a paper with data that was faked…”

When in actuality, if you had included the beginning of the sentence and the previous paragraph, it all makes clear sense. You left out all of this:

"How do we know our data analyses are not missing them? And, when we do detect one, how do we know that the science we have extracted from the signal is reliable?

The answer is to do a blind injection test where only a select few expert administrators are able to put a fake signal in the data, maintaining strict confidentiality.”

From the abstract:
"The cases reported in this study provide a snap-shot of the status of parameter estimation in preparation for the operation of advanced detectors.” i.e., the intent of the study.

i.e., real science

However the LIGO scientist wants to spin it, the story depicts a failure. They spent months writing a paper about an event that was phony, and were about to publish the success.

Another tale of the blind-injection event:

Quote
The "Big Dog" in the Envelope

So, there has been a lot of excitement in the LIGO and Virgo Collaborations because we thought that we may have had a gravitational wave detection candidate from the early morning hours of 16 September 2010.  Because the potential source was localized in the vicinity of Canis Major constellation, the candidate event was informally dubbed the "Big Dog" (get it? we think we're cute).

I was especially excited since I was one of the first people to know about the event.  I mentioned in a previous blog entry that LIGO and Virgo have developed an effort to process the data that we collect rapidly so we can tell our traditional astronomy colleagues (those with actual telescopes) where to look for a potential optical signal component of the event.  I was one of about 25 scientists that were notified when a candidate event for observation was detected so that we can make sure that the event is valid before we send it out for observation.  While I wasn't the scientist on duty for this purpose at the time, I received the text message a little after 1 AM Central time (I couldn't sleep).  This was only 8 minutes after the data was collected!

It was sent out for observation and the entire collaboration began to get very excited.  This looked just like what we would expect from a neutron star-black hole binary (pair) system orbiting into each other (to make a bigger resulting black hole).  But one of the things that every scientist needs to learn is not to get overexcited and declare this to be the first direct detection of gravitational waves without making sure that this isn't a false alarm.  There are 2 ways this could be a false alarm:  1:  There is something in the environment that just so happened to make a coincident signal in all of the detectors (LIGO in Louisiana, LIGO in Washington state and Virgo in Italy) or 2:  This could be a blind injection (test).  Until we knew for sure, no one was allowed to discuss this event outside of the collaboration.  I've had to keep my lips sealed for 6 months (just like the over 800 other scientists who are in the Collaboration)!

A blind injection is a test the higher-ups in LIGO can do to make sure that the data analysis methods are doing what they need to be doing.  Basically, a very small subset of people in the collaboration (think like 2 or 3 people) inject a fake signal into the detector and this injection is not recorded anywhere like the other injections we regularly do to test things like detector calibration, etc.  The fact that a blind injection exists is sealed away (in what we metaphorically call an envelope) until all due diligence is done and the collaboration is ready to declare that the signal is a detection unless it is a blind injection (that it, we prove that it is nothing in the environment or and nothing was wrong with the detectors detectors that caused the signal).

Yesterday (14 March 2011) at the LIGO-Virgo Meeting was the big day when we opened the envelope (which turned out to be a flash drive with a PowerPoint presentation on it).  If the envelope was empty or if whatever injections were in the envelope were not the "Big Dog", then that would mean we made a detection.  The envelope was opened and, indeed, the "Big Dog" was inside and not a real gravitational wave detection.

I was not surprised - there had not been a blind injection in the run before this and everyone expected that there would be at least one.  However, there was also a big part of me that was hoping against hope that this was real.  My entire career has been dedicated to the effort of directly detecting gravitational waves and the development of gravitational wave astronomy.  If the "Big Dog" had been real, this would have been a fulfillment of the first part of my goals and the opening of the door of the second part.

Regardless, all of the effort that was put into validating the "Big Dog" up until it was revealed to be a blind injection has been a priceless exercise for the collaboration.  We even have a paper that was ready to be submitted for publication if it had been real. Since this is something that we have never done before, we have developed skills for when we do make the first detection with Advanced LIGO.

They spent significant time and effort "validating" a fake signal and wrote a paper that was ready to be submitted for publication.

That means that they can basically make up a story for any signal they see. Embarrassing!

By "developed skills" we should assume that to mean "bettered our story telling," because failure tends to lead to failure, and they failed to detect the phony.

Your argument is that the scientists claimed "We failed... but we got better at it!", which is a pretty weak argument considering that they relay no other success stories of successfully detecting phony signals.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2018, 03:16:12 PM by Tom Bishop »

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Offline markjo

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Re: Other confirmations of general relativity
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2018, 04:26:19 PM »
They spent significant time and effort "validating" a fake signal and wrote a paper that was ready to be submitted for publication.

That means that they can basically make up a story for any signal they see. Embarrassing!

By "developed skills" we should assume that to mean "bettered our story telling," because failure tends to lead to failure, and they failed to detect the phony.

Your argument is that the scientists claimed "We failed... but we got better at it!", which is a pretty weak argument considering that they relay no other success stories of successfully detecting phony signals.
Tom, one of the biggest ways that scientists learn is by failing.  You get fooled by a false signal (deliberate or natural), so you improve your validation procedures so that you don't get fooled again.
Abandon hope all ye who press enter here.

Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.

If you can't demonstrate it, then you shouldn't believe it.

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Other confirmations of general relativity
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2018, 06:24:04 PM »
If someone gives group of scientists fake data and they then proceed to "validate" it and write a scientific paper success story, that looks pretty embarrassing to the scientists and the credibility of their science in my book. Claiming that something fake was validated is practically a scientific crime.

Look into the BICEP2 fiasco. A few years ago the government-funded BICEP2 group had announced that they had discovered Gravity Waves. Millions of dollars were spent on what amounted to be nothing.

https://www.insidescience.org/news/you-cannot-ignore-dust

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On the day of the BICEP2 announcement, and for many days afterward, people were largely accepting the results as correct and already jumping to the implications of the BICEP2 results for what appeared to be a new era of gravitational-wave cosmology. 

In writing my story for Inside Science News Service, I was fortunate to get an early voice of skepticism from David Spergel, a theoretical cosmologist at Princeton University in New Jersey. He commented:

"Given the importance of this result, my starting point is to be skeptical. Most importantly, there are several independent experimental groups that will test this result in the next year."

Spergel explained that the new gravitational wave measurements did not appear to agree with those of previous experiments, known as WMAP and Planck, unless the simplest models of inflation were replaced by more complicated ones. On the first day and week of coverage, I became very disappointed with the many commentators who disregarded or underemphasized the earlier measurements from instruments on WMAP and Planck, which had been reported and covered for years.

Sure enough, in the weeks that followed, other researchers pointed out that the signal that BICEP2 detected may have been attributable to the polarization of light caused by dust in our galaxy.

BICEP2 was a failure. Gravity Waves were not detected, despite similar papers declaring as such. The author concludes with:

Quote
Scientists, and the rest of the public, should follow the time-tested scientific practice of subjecting claims to sufficient levels of scrutiny, and waiting for other groups to validate results, before making bold statements.

That is absolutely correct. Other groups must validate the results. It's called Peer Review, and is not "optional".

However, as we read earlier, LIGO is preventing independent researchers from validating their findings. They have been pulling out the "but the disclaimer!!" card to critics. This is, in fact, an even bigger crime. We should all be up in arms on the matter. That deception is a showstopper, an unjustifiable checkmate which basically invalidates the entire enterprise. That is not real or honest science.

LIGO must open themselves up for Peer Review. Period.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2018, 08:55:11 PM by Tom Bishop »

Offline Gaia

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Re: Other confirmations of general relativity
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2018, 07:45:26 PM »
I'm a bit confused as to why you think that any of this proves gravitational waves to be fake or that the scientist deliberately faked them. The fact that there are other scientist questioning the methods and conclusions as well as the scientis participating in these studies admitting possible inaccuracies only proves that the scientific community works the way it supposed to; by constantly re-evaluating itself and admitting that there is always room for improvement.
Even the blind injections only show how diligently the scientist try to make sure everything works as it's supposed to.

Even if it turns out that they didn't find gravitational waves proves neither that they don't exist or that the experiment failed. The LIGO has still collected a ton of data which can be incredibly useful in the future even if it is "just" noise. If nothing else at least it has offered valuable information of the difficulties measuring gravitational waves.
 
Science never offers ultimate truths about anything, nor does it claim to do so. The scientists proclaiming that they had found the gravitational waves did nothing wrong in doing so, that was the conclusion they drew from what they found, whether or not that conclusion will turn out to be true won't make them frauds.

« Last Edit: September 06, 2018, 08:13:18 PM by Gaia »