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Ripples of discord: on gravitational waves

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A forthcoming paper on the detection of gravitational waves will be illuminating
On September 14, 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) made the Nobel prize winning detection(खोज/आविष्कार) of gravitational(गुरुत्वाकर्षण) waves(तरंगें). These waves are ripples(लहर) in the fabric(रचना/गृह) of space-time(अंतरिक्ष समय), arising(उठना) from the merger(मेल/मिलावट) of a pair of black holes in distant(दूर) space, and their detection had been a long-time pursuit(पीछा/काम-काज) of physics. LIGO’s feat was among the most electrifying(विद्युतीकरण/उत्तेजक) announcements(घोषणाएं) in recent years. Since detecting this binary black hole (BBH) merger, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration(सहभागिता/सहयोग) (LSC) has made six such observations(पर्यवेक्षण/अवलोकन). Five of these were mergers of black holes in very different locations in space and with very different characteristics(विशेषताओं) such as mass, and one was the merger of a pair of so-called neutron stars (binary neutron stars). Such mergers had been modelled theoretically(सैद्धांतिक रूप से) even before the detection. The measurement(पैमाइश/माप) was made easier because the team had templates for the type of signals to expect. The last few detections have been done in conjunction(संयोजन/योग) with another detector, Virgo. After the first discovery, the LSC made public its data. Analysing(विश्लेषण) this, in 2017 a group of scientists questioned the validity of the first detection. They argued(तर्क करना/उलझ जाना ) that the two detectors belonging to LIGO were correlated(सहसंबद्ध/पारस्परिक संबंध) and that this led to a correlation in the noise factor. Weeding out noise from the signal is crucial(महत्वपूर्ण/निर्णायक) in any such experiment, and James Creswell et al claimed(दावाकिया/अधियाचित) that this had not been done properly by the LSC. Since then, a version of their preprint has been published in the Journal of Cosmology(ब्रह्मांड विज्ञान) and Astro particle(खगोल कण) Physics. After a long silence, on November 1, the LSC has put up a clarification on its website.

Awestruck: on the Nobel Prize for Physics

The clarification(स्पष्टीकरण) is cryptic(गुप्त/छिपा हुआ), referring(जिक्र/सौंपना) to “misunderstandings(गलतफहमी) of public data products and the ways that the LIGO data need to be treated” by those raising objections. This encompasses(अंतर्गत कई/रखना) a range of things, starting with lacunae(खामियों/अभाव) in the analysis of data by Mr. Creswell and his collaborators. It transpires that in their analysis Creswell et al had used the data supplied by LIGO for a figure in their paper rather than the raw time series data that were made publicly available. While responding with a defence regarding(विषय में/अपेक्षया) processing of data is fine, it is unfortunate that the LSC team supplied data for the figure in the published paper that differed from the raw data. That said, a simpler and more direct corroboration of LIGO’s discovery stems from the wide variety(विविधता/क़िस्म) of its sources. Now, the LSC plans to come out with a paper that carries(ले जाना/व्यवहार करना) detailed explanations. This would not be a second too soon. Put together, this is how science makes progress — in leaps and bounds, with thoughtfulcritiques(आलोचनाओं) and interventions( हस्तक्षेप) in between. And in this case, the attendant controversy(विवाद) has captured the interest of even those beyond(परे/से ऊपर) the world of science.

Important Vocabulary

1.Ripples(लहर)
Synonyms: billow, breaker, crest, curl, fold

2.Fabric(रचना/गृह)
Synonyms: fiber, goods, textile, texture, bolt

3.Merger(मेल/मिलावट) 
Synonyms: combination, takeover, tie-up, unification, union
Antonyms: division, separation, parting

4.Observations(पर्यवेक्षण/अवलोकन)
Synonyms: conclusion, consideration, examination, experience, information
Antonyms: heedlessness, ignorance, neglect, unobservance, disbelief

5.Conjunction(संयोजन/योग)
Synonyms: partnership, affiliation, agreement, alliance, association
Antonyms: antagonism, disagreement, disunion, division, divorce

6.Correlated(सहसंबद्ध/पारस्परिक संबंध
Synonyms: correspond, interact, tie in, associate, connect
Antonyms: disconnect, separate, differ, disassociate, imbalance

7.Crucial(महत्वपूर्ण/निर्णायक)
Synonyms: central, compelling, deciding, decisive, essential
Antonyms: inessential, insignificant, minor, optional, secondary

8.Claimed(दावाकिया/अधियाचित
Synonyms: allege, ask, assert, believe, call for
Antonyms: abandon, answer, deny, desert, disbelieve

9.Referring(जिक्र/सौंपना)
Synonyms: attributing, citing, hinting, implying, indicating

10.Critiques(आलोचनाओं
Synonyms: appraisal, assessment, comment, commentary, criticism
Antonyms: compliment, flattery, praise

11.Controversy(विवाद) 
Synonyms: argument, bickering, difference, discussion, fuss
Antonyms: agreement, concurrence, peace, compliment, harmony

 

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