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Know Your Noise!

Shocking, isn't it, to learn that the first detection of gravitational waves (GWs) was a pedagogical exercise that was more "illustrative" than precise. So says Neil Cornish. a senior figure in LIGO's data analysis who isn't from an ivy League school, but, rather, from the more modest state university in Montana.

In fact, the results found in the 2015 issue of Physical Review Letters were not found by using algorithms, but were done "by eye". What worse fudging can there be? Brown, another member of the tea, says it was an attempt to provide visual aid insofar as "it was hand-tuned for pedagogical purposes." And, (now!) he regrets that the figures weren't labelled so! So this is the stuff Nobel Prizes are made out of!!!

And if that is not bad enough, just look at the ruined reputation of Physical Review. When confronted by the fact that LIGO's data, upon which they based their conclusion of the existence of gravitational waves, was nonexistent, Garisto, the editor who handled the paper refused to comment when queried by New Scientist.

Moreover, the publicly available waveform "was not tuned to precisely remove the signal" when the collaborators subtracted the Livingston signal from the Hanford one left the door wide open for leaving correlations to sneak into the data.But, why worry, and what's all the fuss about, when we have a theory like General Relativity (GR) that predicts the existence oGWs. In fact, GR is one of the best tested theories known to man---even though the Einstein field equations contradict the basic laws of physics.

So why then go through all the bother and expense of discovering something you know already exists?

LIGO uses templates, or road maps, to detect GWs, which prompted the catchy heading in the New Scientist article of 31 October 2018: "Seek and ye shall find." Not only does it predict the spectra, but it also pinpoints the cause: GWs are triggered by the collision of massive black holes, binary neutron stars, etc. This is indeed disconcerting since Einstein's equations cannot even treat the two-body problem.

Like the electromagnetic radiation they emit on collision GWs travel billions of years spreading out in all directions, but, unlike light, they get weaker as the go before being washed up on the shores of earth that can hardly hardly displace 40 kg mirrors more than a thousandth the diameter of a proton!

So unlike light, GWs attenuate as they travel through space because they are the squeezing and stretch of spacetime itself. But when light passes through another medium, it refracts and attenuates changing its wavelength. And since its frequency is constant, its speed slows down.

This is all the more surprising since confirmation was claimed in the 17th of August 2017 coincidence when the orbiting Fermi lab telescope picked up a burst of EM radiation at the same time LIGO picked up the signal. This suggested that the burst was from a "brutal collision of two neutron stars". However, LIGO originally registered it as a "false alarm" because it considered it a "glitch", or a short inexplicable burst of noise. However, such glitches were known to last even hours, and were attributed to "hardware" problems.

LIGO has even picked up signal from enormous black holes that were thought to be impossible. This is nothing more than reductio ad absurdum and shows the ridiculousness of their interpretation of noise. Even the very notion of a black hole is unconvincing and should better be called an AGN (see Seeing Gravity), Einstein's equations can't even solve the two-body problem so what can it possibly say about the collision of binary black holes.

According to standard lore, black holes are shrouded in mystery behind a veil called the event horizon which light can't even escape. So how on Earth can we witness the merger of two of them without resorting to science fiction, which has become so intertwined with GR making it impossible to distinguish between them.

Cornish, as if he is communicating something new and important, admits "we are unable to solve Einstein's equations exactly [understatement if there was ever one] for the case of two black holes merging." So resort must be made to "methods to approximate the signals they expect to see." That's like putting words in someone's mouth and being surprised when he or she utters them!

Over a year ago, Neil Cornish promised to write a paper detailing LIGO's noise. "It's a kind of paper we didn't really want to write because it is boring and we've got more exciting things to do." But, "you have to understand your noise", and it is perfectly alright to go ahead and bore us to death! So far, no boring material has appeared, making it less boring as time passes because it seems someone (LIGO) is trying to hide something.

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