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LIGO_casebook

BOTNER: In a simple way,

BOTNER: In a simple way, yes. VERITAS: We will keep it simple then. These mirrors move or oscillate or vibrate for a number of reasons: earth tremors, vehicles passing by and so on. Is this correct? BOTNER: Yes. VERITAS: Do the mirrors vibrate independently of each other – or is this some type of concerted motion? BOTNER: They vibrate independently. VERITAS: And what happens when a gravitational wave comes down? BOTNER: Then the mirrors move in a concerted motion, as predicted by theory. VERITAS: Is this concert observable? I mean, how do we know that the mirrors are moving in concert when normally they do not and there is no coupling of any kind between them? BOTNER: We cannot actually observe this concerted motion because it is extremely small. But the LIGO readout shows that the motion is concerted. VERITAS: Are you saying that the LIGO readout wiggles prove a concerted motion is prevailing? BOTNER: Well, no. The concerted motion is a property of the gravitational wave. The wiggles tell us a gravitational wave is passing by, and that is how we then know that the mirrors must be in concerted motion. VERITAS: And how exactly do the wiggles tell you that they are from a gravitational wave passing by? BOTNER: Because the wiggles match black hole merger model. VERITAS: You are trying to prove the existence of theorized gravitational waves by utilizing their theorized property of producing concerted motion. So isn’t the concerted motion the first thing you have to experimentally demonstrate as happening? How can you gloss over the very point of the experiment, the very purpose for which LIGO was built? 84

BOTNER: There is no way to demonstrate the concerted motion directly. We assume it to be happening. VERITAS: That makes the whole business of LIGO detecting gravitational waves just an assumption in its entirety. Isn’t that right? It is just your word. There is absolutely no science behind this. BOTNER: No, it is not right. LIGO is a high quality instrument for detecting gravitational waves. VERITAS: Now, in reality, those mirrors are contained within a hermetically sealed steel vessel. So, you say that the gravitational wave does some business inside the vessel, business that you have no way of verifying. There is going on some type of unobservable entanglement of the two mirror motions. Then you say Hail Mary full of grace, and simply declare that the said business has actually taken place inside the vessel. Then you start matching this black hole merger stuff. And then you string together a complete story. Is that even remotely a scientific way of doing things? BOTNER: I cannot answer that question because of Nobel secrecy. VERITAS: Ah … the Nobel secrecy! Your Honor, I have no further questions. JUDGE: Any redirect, Mr. Moscato? MOSCATO: Yes, Your Honor. Professor Botner, did the Nobel Committee not say that the first LIGO detection was model independent? In other words, the black hole merger model is not necessary to invoke in order to demonstrate that the mirrors are in concerted motion? Wouldn’t that mean that just the readout wiggles by themselves prove that concerted motion is happening inside the vessel? BOTNER: I .. er .. cannot go into that area. MOSCATO: No further questions, You Honor. JUDGE: The witness is excused. This entry was posted on December 29, 2017 at 1:34 pm 85

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