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Gravity’s Ghost and Big Dog

Scientific Discovery and Social Analysis in the Twenty-First, by Harry Collins

By
10:00am, May 4, 2014

Roughly 50 kilometers east of Baton Rouge, La., lasers ricochet off mirrors that dangle at the ends of a 4-kilometer-long, L-shaped vacuum tube. A nearly identical facility sits almost 3,000kilo-meters away in Washington state. The research stations — part of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO — are designed to sense gravitational waves, minuscule ripples in the fabric of space. Unlike the recently detected waves from the Big Bang (SN: 4/5/14, p. 6), the waves LIGO picks up will most likely come from black hole or neutron star collisions.

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