Entangled laser beams improve the resolution of gravitational-wave detectors

Quantum noise is a limiting issue in high-precision measurements of gravitational waves. Physicists lead by Prof. Roman Schnabel at the “Quantum Universe” Excellence cluster at the University of Hamburg proved in a test experiment that quantum entanglement of laser light can increase the sensitivity of gravitational-wave observatories. The results of their studies where published in … Read more

How to observe a ‘black hole symphony’ using gravitational wave astronomy

Shrouded in mystery since their discovery, the phenomenon of black holes continues to be one of the most mind-boggling enigmas in our universe. In recent years, many researchers have made strides in understanding black holes using observational astronomy and an emerging field known as gravitational wave astronomy, first hypothesized by Albert Einstein, which directly measures … Read more

Researchers apply the squeeze to better detect stellar-mass black holes

Stellar-mass black holes are formed by the gravitational collapse of a star. Their collisions are some of the most violent events in the universe, creating gravitational waves or ripples in space-time. These ripples are miniscule and detected using laser interferometers. Until now, many signals have been drowned out by so-called quantum noise on the laser … Read more

The irresistible pull – when massive stars collide

All neutron stars are magnetic, but some are more magnetic than others. The latter, so-called magnetars, are the strongest magnets in the Universe. The reason for their exceptionally large magnetic field is most probably that they formed in supernovae of already highly magnetized stars. But how do these massive stars acquire their large magnetic field? … Read more

Where in the universe can you find a black hole nursery?

Gravitational wave researchers at the University of Birmingham have developed a new model that could help astronomers track down the origin of heavy black hole systems in the Universe. Black holes are formed following the collapse of stars and possibly supernova explosions. These colossally dense objects are measured in terms of solar masses – the … Read more

Fastest eclipsing binary, a valuable target for gravitational wave studies

Observations made with a new instrument developed for use at the 2.1-meter (84-inch) telescope at the National Science Foundation’s Kitt Peak National Observatory have led to the discovery of the fastest eclipsing white dwarf binary yet known. Clocking in with an orbital period of only 6.91 minutes, the rapidly orbiting stars are expected to be … Read more

Discovering exoplanets with gravitational waves

In a recent paper in Nature Astronomy, Nicola Tamanini from the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute/AEI) in Potsdam and Camilla Danielski from the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) in Saclay, Paris suggest how the planned space-based gravitational-wave observatory LISA can detect exoplanets orbiting white dwarf binaries everywhere in … Read more