UNITED STATES: Scientists plan to use black hole encounters to learn more about the universe’s age and evolution. Researchers at the University of Chicago have developed a method for using pairs of colliding black holes to measure the rate of the universe’s expansion, how it started, and where it is headed. Physical Review Letters recently published a report on their discoveries.
Scientists who are curious about the universe’s “teen years” are drawn to the new “spectral siren” technique. The new technique measures changes in these impulses as the universe expands due to black holes slamming into one another and producing gravitational waves.
The signal from these collisions contains crucial information about the black holes’ magnitude. The universe’s expansion, however, modifies this signal’s nature because it travels such vast distances in space.
If a black hole were shifted earlier in the galaxy, the signal would change and appear larger than it is, according to co-author and University of Chicago astrophysicist Daniel Holz.
Scientists can calculate the rate of the universe’s expansion if they can devise a way to measure how that signal changed. The issue is calibration; how do they know how much has changed since the original?
In their new study, Holz and lead author Jose Maria Ezquiaga suggest using our recently found data about the total population of black holes as a calibration tool. For instance, according to ANI, the bulk of black holes that have been discovered so far have masses that are five to forty times greater than the sun.
These weak gravitational wave signals can be detected on Earth by extremely sensitive laser interferometers such as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), the Italian observatory Virgo, and Japan’s Kamioka Gravitational Wave Detector (KAGRA), according to sources.
The data’s potential to provide early proof into the so-called “teenage years” of the ages, or around 10 billion years ago, when combined with the quiet siren method, intrigues experts.
Astronomers can examine the origins of the universe using cosmic microwave background radiation. Ezquiaga remarked that “we are particularly interested in investigating this key shift” when dark energy overtook dark matter as the dominant force in the universe.