[time-nuts] LIGO detects gravitational waves

Tom Van Baak tvb at LeapSecond.com
Sat Feb 13 16:02:40 EST 2016

Hi Nick,

The time series, the frequency spectra, and the audio representation were all fantastic. IR / optical / x-ray telescopes receive photons so it's natural to think of your eye. But gravity waves are essentially a displacement so technically "ears" are better suited than "eyes" for this. Plus, out of all frequencies possible, this one magically lands right in the narrow range humans can hear!

Click on "Audio Files" near the end of https://losc.ligo.org/events/GW150914/ for a selection.

There's a high-quality tutorial on processing the raw LIGO data, including making sound files:


Audio representation of time series data not uncommon. For example, Ham's use beat notes to compare against WWV. You'll find a whole new world if you took the output of an analog phase comparator and use a speaker instead of a TIC and TimeLab. You can time shift up or down as necessary. That's one reason why the old Tracor multiplying phase comparators are so cool.

Somewhere I have links to interesting uses of audio as an alternative to strip charts. Here's two examples:



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Nick Sayer via time-nuts" <time-nuts at febo.com>
To: "Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement" <time-nuts at febo.com>
Sent: Saturday, February 13, 2016 10:14 AM
Subject: Re: [time-nuts] LIGO detects gravitational waves

I watched the video. It’s a spectacular discovery, no doubt. But the next day, the headlines in the non-technical press were all about how we can now “hear” the universe. The parlor trick the scientists did for the press conference was what lead the news. I don’t know which side the face-palm should be on.

More information about the time-nuts mailing list