Gravitational Wave Rumor Back in the News

The rumor from earlier this year that LIGO has found gravitational waves has returned. This time, there’s a theorist who claims that a paper will be released by Nature in less than a week, so we won’t have to wait long to see if this particular rumor is true. The claim is that LIGO has found definitive evidence of a black hole merger, which would be very exciting. Measurable gravitational waves are expected to be generated when two very large objects orbit one another at a close distance, with the waves bleeding off energy and causing the orbital radius to decrease until the objects merge. An interferometry experiment like LIGO would then see a clear oscillating signal from the orbits of these two objects. Gravitational waves are one of the most important predictions of general relativity that we could measure.