For the past twenty years the leading physicists of the world are waiting in their hands will be something that will help you find quantum gravity. And while they wait, the U.S. Professor Kip Thorne is looking for gravitational waves in the universe. It looks like he is about to find them. From that moment, the new physics.
Thorn belongs to the very few of the scientists who study abroad gravitation theory of relativity. This is an area where Einstein's general relativity must intersect with the quantum theory. That there should be born yet unknown theory of quantum gravity, which is engaged in the search for the whole scientific XX century. Her appearance promises to fundamentally new physics, a new view of the Universe.
— I do what is called "the deformed side of the Universe" — explains Thorne. — These are objects that consist solely or mostly of curved space-time. We do know that such objects exist. Neutron stars are fifteen percent or more are made up of curved space-time. From it also is about eighty-five percent of the substance of black holes and gravitational waves one hundred percent. My question is not whether there is this curved side of the universe, and to understand what it is.
What it is — this is the main intrigue of modern physics. The fact that the curvature of space-time universe theoretically established by Einstein in the early last century. All of the general theory of relativity (GTR abbreviated) about it. For some reason, our space is more convenient to be curved, non-linear, and a ray of light for some reason it is more convenient to run in an arc. Question — why?
Because there is gravity, scientists say. Curvature and gravity are one and the same. Where there is gravity, the space will be curved. She is his inalienable property. It is everywhere and always was. The gravitational field — the very first field of the universe, and gravity waves, respectively, of its very first wave. They, not the infamous Higgs boson, which has just discovered in the Large Hadron Collider, have appeared in the first moment of being in the world.
That's just what it is, so to the end of physics and can not understand. Riding the street car or swaying curtains driven gravity wave and curve space. Only very slightly. None of the detector produced by human hands, still did not fix it.
— We must understand that all of our description of nature has its range of applicability — finally he says. — Unified theory of gravity for all occasions not, and I do not think it is possible. It all depends on the phenomenon with which you are working. If you are dealing with the planets or stars, the gravity — is what is described Newton's law of universal gravitation. If you need a much higher accuracy, but you do not invade into the quantum domain, the gravity — this is what is described by Einstein: the curvature of space-time. But if you are interested in center of a black hole, the birth of the universe or the relationship between gravity and the fundamental particles, gravity — it is a phenomenon of nature that we do not know yet.
— Do not be predicted — he says at last, raising his eyebrows. — Theoretical physicist is different from the policy that the politician does not know what it means to be wrong, and wrong physicist every day. But when we are wrong, the science becomes much more interesting. I want the big surprises, and expect that there will be no surprises. The study of the deformed part of the universe has put us in an open situation. This can give us a completely new physics, and may not give. It is clear that progress in physics will be linked with an understanding of how to combine general relativity and quantum mechanics. This understanding will open your eyes to the most important questions: what is the nature of the birth of the universe, there are other universes that inside a black hole, and even whether it is possible to travel back in time. But any predictions here are irresponsible.
Catching gravitational waves up to now has been one of the most hopeless exercise for physicists. The pioneer in this business was not at all the Thorn, and our countryman, Professor Vladimir Braginsky. Back in the 70s with his light hand in the basement of a university physics department were established earliest detectors which are to distinguish the desired wavelength in a thick mash of other waves. Gravity then tried to catch the so-called balance of Eotvos. Libra was special and had to respond to the slightest hesitation. But mother earth so much that fluctuates all the time scales that showed something.
One still managed to notch a clearly reproducible results. Every night at the same time, the device showed the same imbalance. Then all the Physics Department froze in quivering anticipation. But Braginsky quickly spoiled the holiday. It turned out that the instrument honestly recorded the moment when the last tram from University Avenue friendly crowd went to the park.
In order to capture the spatial cramps universe was needed specifically observed object whose gravitational radiation would be huge. But what for? Where to find it? Radiates gravity in general, all that is, more precisely, has a mass. But so weak that terrestrial ways to fix this is simply unrealistic. And the Earth and the Sun perfectly demonstrate Newton's law of universal gravitation, but in the sense of gravitational waves, they are completely useless.
I had to look in the universe kind of special, sverhgravitatsionnoe event. The first to suggest that such an event exists and it can be observed in reality, there was another Russian physicist Yakov Zeldovich famous. Rotating black holes, claimed Zeldovich, will emit a powerful gravitational waves. They need to seek out and catch. "They will radiate gravity as well as a rotating metal disc will generate an electromagnetic field" — claimed Zeldovich.
The incident would not have continued if not for the joint work of Thorne and Stephen Hawking on black holes. Calculations done over the next five years, showed that Zeldovich was absolutely right. Rotating black holes do indeed generate powerful gravitational waves. And if you imagine that two such holes collide, Thorne went on to argue, we will get one of the strongest gravitational spasms of the universe! So the search object was found — a sure-object whose gravitational energy is maximum and can be fixed. Since then, the whole life of Thorn in science is subject exclusively to this grand story.
— We want to know what happens when two black holes collide — resounds with the department's calm voice Thorn. — From the point of view of the fundamental concepts of black holes collide, inevitably reveal the nonlinear dynamics of curved space-time. This is what I'm trying to understand.
— In areas of the poles of the black hole appears as if a whirlwind, I call it Vortex — said Thorne. — If you want a very simple picture, that these vortices, vortices associated with a rotating black hole, just like my hands are tied to my body when I'm better at one place. At the north pole of each hole vortex twists clockwise, while in the south — counterclockwise. Moreover, these black holes are rotating in opposite directions. When they collide, inside there is a conglomeration of internal vibration. At this point, black holes are exchanged twists, that is, the direction of rotation of the vortices.
— I want to remind you that, as part of the space, you can not avoid the contortion, being in close proximity to the black hole — politely remarked Thorne. — When you fall, say, the north pole of the black hole, the following occurs. There is an effect of turbulence. He spins. In this case, the head and legs are twisted in opposite directions. Any elongated object will be broken into two parts. Due to differences in rotational speeds head will see the legs, rotating counter-clockwise, and the legs will see the head rotating in a clockwise direction. That is the part of the observer sees that they rotate in opposite directions.
— Just as a moving charge creates an alternating electromagnetic field — says Thorne key point theory — moving gravitational eddies give rise to secondary related field. When it is bound field moves in space, it creates a wave of distortion. Space begins to shake, and you can produce a gravitational wave.
Sam spatial vortex emanating from the poles of the black hole, Thorne calls the Vortex and divergent around the secondary field — tendeksom. In this vortex is analogous to the electric field, and tendeks — magnetic.
During the catastrophic collision of black holes such convulsions rippling through the universe at a speed of about 400 km / s. The power of these waves is enormous. It is well established that a collision Black Hole 10% of their mass is converted to the gravitational radiation. For example, let's say that the collision of particles occurring in the Large Hadron Collider, a gravitational wave takes only less than 0.5% of their mass. "Luminosity" (that is, roughly speaking, energy) generated by the gravitational wave is about 10% of the total energy of the colliding black holes. This is approximately 10,000 "luminosity" of gravitational radiation of all the stars of the universe together. "Luminosity" of gravitational waves of two colliding black holes exceeds the gravitational "luminosity" of the Sun in 1034 times.
It is these waves, I'm sure Thorn, and can be observed in reality.
For the past thirty years ago specialists from several leading physics laboratories in the world under the leadership of Thorne began creating prototypes of so-called interferometers are used to monitor the phase shift of the laser beam. Formally speaking, such an interferometer device is extremely simple. Take two mirrors set opposite each other and let in between the laser beam. With the passage of a gravitational wave mirror surface will experience some kind of distortion, and the devices show a certain phase shift when the laser beam. That's it. Here are just calculations show that to achieve the desired accuracy of the system should be the most complex structure in the shape of the letter "d" with two shoulders and a four-kilometer high vacuum inside.
Two years Thorne urged U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) to invest in this venture. The project cost is estimated at exorbitant sum at that time of 365 million dollars. In addition to a strong belief Thorne, no other evidence of the potential effectiveness of the ideas do not exist in nature. In 1992, a miracle happened. The contract was signed with the NSF. Kip Thorne, along with two colleagues founded the laser-interferometric gravitational-wave observatory project or LIGO, which became the most expensive NSF initiative in the history of its existence.
— Now in LIGO involved 150 scientists from 75 countries. When, in the 89th year we have offered this project — says Thorne — we had to split it into two parts. The technology was so complicated that the first step was to acquire a rough experience on simulation interferometers. They could not pinpoint, but I had to figure out how it works. A little less than two years ago, we finally got to the installation of interferometers aimed strictly at zasekanie waves. Their installation is complete by the end of 2013. Just three years I put on the setting. And for the 17th year, I predict the possibility of success.
Fantastic on the complexity and precision of the L-shaped bulks already built in Livingston (La.), Hanford (Wash.), Pisa and Hanover. These gravitational ears are able to fix the signal to within 10-22, located at a distance of 4 billion light-years.
— I must say that I admire as a theorist of technology LIGO, — throws up his hands Thorne. — The difference of the beam at a distance of four kilometers between the mirrors is 4.10 seconds! That's impressive.
The figures announced by Thorne, mark the transition to an entirely new class of measurements on the border of the so-called standard quantum limit. Beyond this limit, by definition, any measurement is incorrect. Just because the fact of observation would violate the measuring accuracy.
— For the first time in history, we will observe the quantum behavior of objects on a human scale — explains Thorne. — This is a paradigm shift in thinking in the macroscopic measurements. We still have never encountered a situation in which the experimenters have long been accustomed to the microcosm. This is related to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. LIGO until all observations in the macro might not be accurate only for reasons of human factors. And now we are faced with a fundamental prohibition on the nature of the absolute accuracy …