The Absurdity of Detecting Gravitational Waves

A head-vaporizing laser with a perfect wavelength detecting sub-proton space-time ripples.
Huge thanks to Prof Rana Adhikari and LIGO: http://ligo.org
Here's how he felt when he learned about the first ever detection: https://youtu.be/ViMnGgn87dg

Thanks to Patreon supporters:
Nathan Hansen, Donal Botkin, Tony Fadell, Saeed Alghamdi, Zach Mueller, Ron Neal
Support Veritasium on Patreon: http://bit.ly/VePatreon

A lot of videos have covered the general overview of the discovery of gravitational waves, what they are, the history of the search, when they were found but I wanted to delve into the absurd science that made the detection possible.

When scientists want one megawatt of laser power, it's not just for fun (though I'm sure it's that too), it's because the fluctuations in the number of photons is proportional to their square root, making more powerful beams less noisy (as a fraction of their total). The smoothest mirrors were created not for aesthetic joy but because when you're trying to measure wiggles that are a fraction the width of a proton, a rough mirror surface simply won't do.

Filmed by Daniel Joseph Files

Music by Kevin MacLeod, http://www.incompetech.com "Black Vortex" (appropriately named)

Music licensed from Epidemic Sound http://epidemicsound.com "Observations 2" (also appropriately named)

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Автор Jack Wright ( назад)
I call troll on Isaiah.

Автор TheTomBevis ( назад)
Just give it another 50 years. We may have gravity-wave detectors in our cell phones.

Автор Isaac Kotlicky ( назад)
what I find interesting is that this is just an upscaled version of the Michelson-Morely experiment used to disprove the existence of aether, and a billion times more technically advanced to minimize noise.

Автор aMulliganStew ( назад)
"If you've done six impossible things this morning, why not top it off with breakfast at Milliways, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe."

Автор deisisase ( назад)
What would happen if that black hole merger happened 10 light-years away?

Автор YoyoMagic ( назад)
You're suggesting that the big bang was the cause of two black holes colliding. That is pure speculation. And you call yourself a scientist.

Автор Дмитрий Шум ( назад)
crazy Money to nowhere

Автор Vincent Car ( назад)
How can you not like this video? This is the kind of stuff that keeps me optimistic about mankind, absolutely amazing

Автор Allen Pellerin ( назад)
Oh I understand now. And to think I thought scientists were only lying to keep their jobs and budgets for another 5 years. Truly the king has no Clothes!! And for my next trick I will pull a black hole out of my @SS.

Автор Itzal'Archives ( назад)
After watching 3 times i finally understand what they were talking about. Did you guys get it on the first try?

Автор Giorgio's adventures in Pripyat with V. Putin ( назад)
Fookin' laser beams

Автор FodderBoi ( назад)
More impressive than the science: How did they fund such a huge experiment and how do they constantly use so much power and pay for it?

Автор Darker Sandman ( назад)
whait? ive heard gravity bends light around mass, but now it stretches it..would that just change the frequency?

Автор Steph G ( назад)
A true scientist's shirt. Never seen an iron in its life.

Автор Michael Reilly ( назад)
1MW of CW single-frequency 1064nm laser light doesn't sound right. This would be a remarkable feat. I'm sure the average laser power in the arms is only on the order of 100s of milliwatts, it may be a pulsed laser system?

Автор A Ginger Heathen ( назад)
I wonder if this could be used to detect warp engines.

Автор sheppy001 ( назад)
All I got from that was that they built a big fancy machine. Dunno what it does though

Автор Compuguy123 - Ghetto Mods/Gameplay ( назад)
That's a pretty big Michelson Morley Experiment

Автор AllisterCaine ( назад)
I would have asked him what the sunglasses are for if after all the laser would vaporize him anyway if something went wrong.

Автор Kel Duck ( назад)
Seems to me they need to add a third vertical arm although drilling 4 kms down will be problematic.

Автор hydragirium ( назад)
O "absurdo" da detecção das Ondas Gravitacionais.

Автор Douglas Weatherford ( назад)
Its sorta like not wanting to know how hot dogs are made, it takes all the awe or mystery out of it and makes it tedious and technical

Автор Erik Tempelman ( назад)
Astoundingly absurd indeed. Thanks for making and sharing: I had NO idea that the detectors are this complex, almost rivalling the LHC.

Автор Pi Van ( назад)
isn't the time stretched as well?

Автор Richard Bergin ( назад)
makes me wonder whether they really detected anything. We seem a little too sure of ourselves sometimes.

Автор David Luckett ( назад)
If you are expecting a tiny shift in tens of thousands of a billionths then you will get some kind of result simply by expecting it. Does not prove gravitational waves.

Автор David Luckett ( назад)
At least the guy was Honest it is Bogus but hey you get the funding for nonsense and what an easy life pays good!

Автор drjeopyl ( назад)
Yo momma so fat, when she turns her car Ligo thought it was real.

Автор MrInconspicuous ( назад)
5:36 quantum mechanics in a nutshell. EVERYBODY SHOULD LEARN UNIFIED FIELD THEORY and then come back and figure out what happened. Quantum mechanics and relativity will never explain the world as it is. Everyone should stop trying to quantify fields, because that's literally just slowing us down. Photons and gravitons and neutrinos don't exist. Really? Attributing light to a unit and then calling it massless doesnt work? Exactly. I wonder when humanity as a whole will understand real science.

Автор yolech ( назад)
It took me way too long to realize they weren't wearing sunglasses just to look cool.

Автор Rom Hol ( назад)
This video answered so many questions I had. Thank you very very much..

Автор Jack EMac ( назад)
Pause at 3:02

Автор Noah Hornberger ( назад)
is the space stretching (can complete void even change shape by definition?) or is light changing speed based on interference from a very strange wave? Are we willing to look at the fact that light might not be totally stable, but has something that can change it and we are only beginning to have instruments strong enough to detect the wobble in the speed of light? That seems way easier to conceptually conclude than 'nothing' changing shape. Because what is defining the space as it's current space? Nothing. No transformation can occur in space, unless that space is not a space but a dimension of some other figure. And space is not a dimension, it is empty, or else no matter would fit in it. So logically even with all this smart stuff I think you guys are looking at it backwards.

Автор Danny Britzman ( назад)
That "huh. I feel smarter" moment

Автор Getting Better at Music ( назад)
3:40 guy blown away by the level of understanding of the person interviewing him. Cool.

Автор Oren Tirosh ( назад)
Another way to try visualizing the tiny amplitude of this signal: 10^21th of the distance from Earth to the center of the Milky Way galaxy is just 25 centimeters.

Автор Ian Mejias ( назад)
Holy moly. That's my reaction.

Автор Keith Maskell ( назад)
You guys are so hilarious for believing this bologna! 🙈

Автор Sayon Mukherjee ( назад)
in the end of it the principle behind the arrangement is pretty simple.

Автор TechnoRazor ( назад)
2:08 Who else would rather have that mirror in your own house for combing your hair?

Автор Jim Walker ( назад)
Detecting every blackhole in the universe at once? Bitchin!

Автор mrdave2112 ( назад)
How can gravitational waves exist when gravity is just a construct in ones mind and not real in the physical world.

Автор fourayes ( назад)
If you were traveling in a space ship at the speed of light, and crossed a Gravitational wave, would you technically have traveled faster than the speed of light for a brief period?

Автор BornSerious ( назад)
What I don't understand is this: was it chance that these instruments caught these waves just as the waves passed by? Have other waves from colliding black holes also been recorded?

Автор ThreeCamels Racing ( назад)
Ken Wheeler thinks your beard is gay.

Автор John Doe ( назад)
And what does humanity benefit from this gravitational wave measurement? What advancements in technology have been achieved by this measurement? Seems like a whole lot of expense and effort for very little return.

Автор yoochan2007 ( назад)
I love this Rana Adhikari ! So bad I couln't enter caltech, I would have enjoyed it :)

Автор SkyeFische ( назад)
I just realized that the most organically intelligent people that will ever exist are alive right now. Within 100 years this scientist guy's level of intelligence will only be performed by technologically augmented people and AIs....

Автор Deffend ( назад)
This guy is hella cool.

Автор J R's Place ( назад)
This is astounding!

Автор sasa smit ( назад)

Автор Patrick Joseph Daep ( назад)

Автор steve nunua ( назад)
Gravitational alert app.

Автор steve nunua ( назад)
If the wave has passed by how do they keep "detecting" it?

Автор Kelly Murray ( назад)
Amazing-- please keep producing these mind-blowing videos!

Автор BariumCobaltNitrog3n ( назад)
When did the human hair become a standard unit of measure? If something is small, someone pluck a hair to compare!
Isn't the Planck length the shortest measurement ever made? 1:57
I don't know, I'm not being rhetorical

Автор Lightcity ( назад)
this is just wow

Автор Javier Humberto Wolnitzky Wenk ( назад)
Always a pleasure learning from you. Greetings from Chile! :)

Автор Noah Stout ( назад)
So do those waves slow time? Or stretch space? That's what I understood. Can someone do a crash course theory of relativity?

Автор dumbcreaknuller ( назад)
where is the idea come from that black holes are waveing in the first place? not that i see how two of them would make a differene, and if black holes are't out there i quess this ligo research is just a waste of planetary resources.

Автор Danilo Couto de Souza ( назад)
If you have a box which is perfectly closed and its walls are perfect mirrors and inside this box you have a bulb. If you turn that bulb on and then turn it off, will there be light inside the box after you turned the bulb off?

Автор cimmik ( назад)
Isn’t it unimaginably unlikely that the gravitational waves hit Earth within the period of human life on earth exactly at the same time we were able to detect it?

Автор gh hg ( назад)
Fuckin humans yo!

Автор Floda Reltih ( назад)
as much as this is well presented, they will never detect gravitational waves; they will call it gravitational waves but it will be electro magnetic waves, if they are lucky they will learn how to discent the difference, undoubtful.

Автор Chunky Love ( назад)
People need to stop being so close minded i'm just saying 200 years ago things that look like magic are common knowledge today

Автор BLΛƆKis_the_newPIИK ( назад)
Humans are really up to something... I doubt that there exists something in universe that can grasp the existence like we do. If it does, I'd be really curious in how do "they" perceive or define space and time.

Автор Langdon Alger ( назад)
Well they detected what they wanted to detect. Time to shut down and deconstruct it all.

Автор Adam ( назад)
So now what that the test is complete ?

Автор Lp Pancake ( назад)
He really did that to his hair on purpose?

Автор Pieter Meuldijk ( назад)
Watching this video I'm pretty sure that the quantum uncertainty principle is caused by gravitational waves which are probably all around us.

Автор Highle Welt ( назад)
8:12 I love this quote so much, it really seems so

Автор Darwin Biler ( назад)
before going further, they should provide funding for acquisition of iron to press this man's clothes

Автор George Washington ( назад)
In video is stated that gravity waves moved through space with speed of light. Could you write where you got this info from?

Автор Wurth ( назад)

Автор buddhafollower ( назад)
of course it is absurd. they think ''gravity'' is a force. it is sot. it is electric in nature. maybe what they found were perturbations, longitudinal perturbations of the Ether... i am not sure nor do care at this time as i have far more pressing concerns....

Автор geniusaur ( назад)
claims 1 mw can power 1000 homes bitch please my kettle uses 3kw... so youre claiming that 333 kettles being turned on is roughly the same as 1000 homes

Автор Caleb Bauer ( назад)
For now, electromagnetic and gravitational waves have been detected by scientists in history, so will nuclear and particle waves ever be detected?

Автор Leeengold ( назад)
The gravitational waves should come like a flat wall. So why is only one arm disturbed by it?

Автор Max M614 ( назад)
Awesome Video. I would be great if you could have also covered the concept of fabry-perot-cavities.

Автор vkorchnoifan ( назад)
How was the project funded? How much ?

Автор Ian James ( назад)
Seriously, why convert kilograms to pounds? Anyone interested in gravitational waves knows what a kilogram is!

Автор Jeremy Powers ( назад)
how to detect gravity.. how much do you weight? ok done. didnt require much

Автор Muath Aldabbagh ( назад)
How did I not know about this channel?!! immediately became my new obsession... keep up the good work guys.

1 MW power ....... who is sponsering you

Автор Tobias Beer ( назад)
so, you listen to it, yet you still believe

Автор Stephen Holstein ( назад)
The title and build up are great. Hopefully doubters will stop here.

Автор Andrew Theo ( назад)
we should give more credits to the scientist behind this project, because of them we know the truth.

Автор GalaxyOfReeses KIng ( назад)
Is it possible for something to be infinitely thin? Do things only travel the established planck length, or infinitely smoothly?

Автор First Name ( назад)
What is the probability to detect at the right moment an event that took place 1.3 billion years ago, an event that lasts only 10th part of a second, an event that occurs once in a billion years. Well the answer is simple - this is just a joke.

The existence of god is more believable.

Автор Tom Davidson ( назад)
Ocean tides are also caused by gravitational waves - due to the rotation of a massive non-symmetric system comprised of the earth and the moon. The oceans and, to a somewhat lesser extent, the earth itself, are stretched by these waves. Unfortunately, these gravitational waves we call tides are not 'sexy' enough to garner the interest of cosmologists because their periods are on the order of several hours, not several milliseconds.

Автор ripcord93 ( назад)
man! i really want to understand this but i simply cannot!...can somebody help? i cannot understand the whole "absurdity"....

Автор FilmdLive Rami ( назад)
how do you justify that type of $pending?? Fact or not.. you guys HAVE to say you 'detected something' right ?

Автор Lycerion ( назад)
At the end he mentions wanting to listen to every black hole with more advanced detectors... does this mean that singular black holes also generate gravitational waves? Is it because they spin?

Автор Bob Troller ( назад)
Why the photons in laser beam could not just be hit out of the wave by the particles, expelled by the black holes merge, and that is why the light slightly dimmed for a fraction of a time, and no space distortion happened.

Автор fatih yener ( назад)
Finally, someone says that the stretching of space time makes everything in it stretch. Because of the space time around and inside the black hole is stretched; the object that enters the black hole is also stretched the same amount as the space time around itself. Thus entering a black hole might not kill you, actually you might not even realize that you are in a black hole because of everything will still be in order.

Автор James Linar Ordena ( назад)
+veritasium Please create a video about Hadron collider.. it's great

Автор Robert Beauville ( назад)
This all looks like a huge swindle to me! And who's money was wasted on such an absolutely absurd idea?

Автор Bei Bei Miao ( назад)
wonderful thank you

Автор 699backstab ( назад)
Take that religionists.

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