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Conspiracy theories scientists investigated to try to explain gravitational wave detection

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posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 10:16 AM
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Some people are disappointed by the skepticism of scientists like Neil Tyson, Seth Shostak and others who say they need a more evidence than our eyewitness sighting of an alien space ship, and they wonder if maybe we just saw something we didn't understand and jumped to conclusions.

What I hope people find as interesting as I do is that it's not just our eyewitness accounts that garner the skepticism of scientists, sometimes they can even be skeptical of their own data collected by their own measuring devices. The latter is what happened in the case of gravitational wave detection, where they explored a number of conspiracy theories, which took a couple of weeks to rule out and finally convince Rana Adhikari that the signal was real.

He had been working on gravitational wave detection for two decades. His expectations were to collect maybe four months of data and spend as many more months analyzing it and trying different algorithms to extract a signal.

When both facilities got a signal within an hour, he was very skeptical because he never expected to get a signal that quickly.

Dr. Adhikari explains how the collaboration explored conspiracy theories as a possibility for how a perfect signal could have been detected so unexpectedly soon after turning on the machines. The peak frequency of that signal happens to be at the frequency where the detector is the most sensitive.

"What are the chances that nature would engineer a signal right in our sweet spot?
...
I didn't believe it. But then I went through and with a lot of other people we examined all of the different conspiracy theories we had for how the signal could have been faked, like someone was mad and tried to do it, someone hacked in and changed our software, someone came in and pushed something, and they had someone else on the phone at the other site who pushed something the same way, and set up devices....If I made a gadget that made a little thing (signal) like that I could hide it underneath someplace and cover it with some aluminum foil or trash. And so, we had people walk around physically, with a flashlight, and look around everywhere for hidden conspiracy devices that would be sneakily putting in fake signals...

Maybe someone's career will be made by this so they just get desperate and unethical and then they spend a year building a really maniacal plan to somehow do this and evade everybody. Eventually we came to the conclusion that there was only maybe like five or six people left in our whole thousand person collaboration who had enough know-how to do all these things. So we all just stared at each other for a while and said "Did you do it?" "Did you do it?"...

You'd need at least two people to do it.One person alone wouldn't have been able to arrange it. And so I would say by two or three weeks after the detection I was pretty convinced it was real."

So they finally convinced themselves that the signal was real and not part of some conspiracy, but I was fascinated to hear about the conspiracy theories they investigated trying to explain the signal as a fake, and finally ruled them all out. Scientists really are skeptical, sometimes even about their own data. This is a good thing, to avoid false alarms and false conclusions.




posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 10:35 AM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur

Just gonna leave this here. www.youtube.com...

I don't believe these scientists understand what they have seen. Black holes and gravitational waves do no exists in an electric universe. Send them back to the drawing board.



posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 10:40 AM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur

That just shows good science.. checking all the possibilities and such..

One definition of science is “ make sure your not fooling yourself..” and every inch of the scientific method is build around that single concept.

The “problem” (and it’s not a problem it is a good thing that some take advantage of) is that a scientist will never say something that doesn’t break the laws of physics is impossible, no matter how unlikely....

So when someone asks a scientist about a conspiracy that’s not too far fetch the HAVE TO ANSWER “ it’s possible..”


Then the oeoole pushing that theory act like that is some validation.



posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 10:46 AM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur

How do you know they aren't making it all up?

It has certainly given the researchers fame and funding, and, if they can convince everyone that they were very careful about the data, it will stop anyone from replicating their very expensive installations and checking things until some time after they died.

That is the problem of 'big money' science like LIGO, NASA probes and the LHC (and there are going to be increasingly more of these 'too expensive to replicate' types of projects).

We have to trust that they are as experimentally rigorous as they portray. Even others sent in to check the credibility of results could be accepting brown paper bags of cash to just agree.

A quick look at the history of scientific fraud (that we have found out about) would indicate that there is strong motivation to falsify data, especially where 'big science' actually means 'big money'.



posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 10:59 AM
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originally posted by: booyakasha
a reply to: Arbitrageur

Just gonna leave this here. www.youtube.com...

I don't believe these scientists understand what they have seen. Black holes and gravitational waves do no exists in an electric universe. Send them back to the drawing board.
I started watching that video and the ignorance of Wal Thornhill is always amazing to me. He cites problems with E=mc^2 and he doesn't seem to realize that isn't even the correct formula. Of course a photon has no mass so how does that formula tell you anything about the energy of a photon? That formula doesn't but the correct formula would as people who passed my quiz understand, but Wal Thornhill fails miserably.



View my threads and follow the link to "Science Quiz #2: Is E=mc^2 right or wrong?" so you can see it's not even the right formula so no wonder Wal Thornhill is confused, and frankly quite wrong. That's not to say I personally confirmed gravitational waves, but I have confirmed Wal Thornhill has no idea of the correct application of E=mc^2 with regard to photons or many of the other claims he makes.


edit on 2017113 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 11:03 AM
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originally posted by: booyakasha
a reply to: Arbitrageur

Just gonna leave this here. www.youtube.com...

I don't believe these scientists understand what they have seen. Black holes and gravitational waves do no exists in an electric universe. Send them back to the drawing board.


Have you ever tried to do the math and get some real numbers on any of the 'Electric Universe' theories?

Newtonian mechanics and Maxwell's electromagnetic equations are enough to demolish Electric Universe theories. You don't even need to go into Quantum Mechanics and Relativity to see the the failures of the Electric Universe.

There are four or more fundamental forces: Gravity, the Strong Nuclear interaction, the Electroweak Nuclear interaction and Electromagnetism (plus there may be others that we don't yet have a handle on).

Not just one force.

To try and explain the universe with just one force does not work, even slightly.

edit on 3/11/2017 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 11:12 AM
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originally posted by: chr0naut
a reply to: Arbitrageur

How do you know they aren't making it all up?
That was one of the conspiracy theories, that the data was made up. The problem is a single person at one facility couldn't do it, it would take multiple people doing it at multiple facilities, at least two people at two facilities for the black hole observation.

The subsequent observation involving neutron stars included not only the LIGO detectors but many other telescopes and observatories so the chances of such a large conspiratorial collaboration succeeding without being detected goes down as more and more facilities are involved, especially when any scientist involved could boost his own career by proving the data was wrong or faked.



posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 11:59 AM
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originally posted by: chr0naut
To try and explain the universe with just one force does not work, even slightly.

The Electric Universe theory is one of the poster children for "ad hoc" theories.

It may fit well with some very narrow observations of nature, but falls apart when applied to other observations.



posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 12:17 PM
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originally posted by: Arbitrageur

The subsequent observation involving neutron stars included not only the LIGO detectors but many other telescopes and observatories so the chances of such a large conspiratorial collaboration succeeding without being detected goes down as more and more facilities are involved, especially when any scientist involved could boost his own career by proving the data was wrong or faked.


They estimate that 15% of the astrophysicists in the whole field took part in broad EM spectrum observations of the neutron star merger. One paper alone has 4,000 contributing authors. I have linked a paper on one of the merger thread to demonstrate what "real science" looks like. The data, the instruments, the theories, were all checked at 3-sigma levels (standard deviation). It took months to write up, then nearly another to verify for publication.

I doubt that nearly 1/5th of all the people in one specific science field would sign their own death certificate in that field. And for what?


When Berger got the calls, emails, and the automated official LIGO alert with the probable coordinates of what appeared to be a neutron-star merger, he knew that he and his team had to act quickly to see its aftermath using optical telescopes.

The timing was fortuitous. Virgo, a new gravitational-wave observatory similar to LIGO’s two detectors, had just come online in Europe. The three gravitational-wave detectors together were able to triangulate the signal.

Quantamagazine.org - Neutron-Star Collision Shakes Space-Time and Lights Up the Sky.

The two LIGO detectors have automated alerts! Virgo is not connected to them and was also tripped. The broad camera Dark Energy Camera (on Hubble) caught a blip right where the gravitational wave detectors said. Chile was going dark, so they pointed a telescope at that spot. US (LIGO), Europe (Virgo), Chile (Swope), ground and space telescopes across light, radio, microwave, infrared, x-ray, and gamma rays...

Skeptical is one thing but the guy from OP is paranoid.

ETA: Here is a link to the science paper mentioned above: Astrophysical Journal Letters - Gravitational Waves and Gamma-Rays from a Binary Neutron Star Merger: GW170817 and GRB 170817A.
edit on 3-11-2017 by TEOTWAWKIAIFF because: add url



posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 12:17 PM
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originally posted by: Arbitrageur
The subsequent observation involving neutron stars included not only the LIGO detectors but many other telescopes and observatories so the chances of such a large conspiratorial collaboration succeeding without being detected goes down as more and more facilities are involved, especially when any scientist involved could boost his own career by proving the data was wrong or faked.


Yes. This was a prime example of "Multi-messenger astronomy".

A few moments after LIGO detected the gravitational waves of the merging neutron stars, the Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope detected a high energy EM burst from the exact same location of space. That coincidental observation of one event from multiple sources (and using multiple methods of detection) is a good confirmation that the event happened.

Multi-messenger astronomy is one of the new buzz-phrases in astronomy. The idea is that through coordinated efforts between multiple detectors that together can receive multiple messenger-carriers (electromagnetic radiation, gravitational waves, neutrinos, and cosmic rays) of an event or object, much more can be learned about that event or object by correlating the coincidental data from each messenger.

...It would be as if in the old proverb about the four blind men each describing a part of one elephant, the four blind men all got together and compered each others observations in a carefully coordinated manner, they would have eventually got an entire description of the elephant.


edit on 3/11/2017 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 12:22 PM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur

And now we delve into into the Neil DeGrasse Tyson Memes.

GUNS N' ROSES: 'take me down to paradise city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty...'

NEIL DeGRASSE TYSON: Actually the grass is jade and the girls body mass index does not indicate psychical beauty.

Scientists, especially physicists, have over inflated egos and want all the credit for themselves and fight amongst themselves, and the nobel prize winners? those were team efforts.

If scientists want to unlock the secrets of the universe, they should do so as a team, not as a player and anyone who has played a team sport knows that sometimes you don't need to swing and miss looking for glory, sometimes you've gotta bunt and get tagged so your man on third makes it home.



posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 12:31 PM
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originally posted by: Arbitrageur

originally posted by: chr0naut
a reply to: Arbitrageur

How do you know they aren't making it all up?
That was one of the conspiracy theories, that the data was made up. The problem is a single person at one facility couldn't do it, it would take multiple people doing it at multiple facilities, at least two people at two facilities for the black hole observation.

The subsequent observation involving neutron stars included not only the LIGO detectors but many other telescopes and observatories so the chances of such a large conspiratorial collaboration succeeding without being detected goes down as more and more facilities are involved, especially when any scientist involved could boost his own career by proving the data was wrong or faked.


I was not saying that any particular current wunderkind of science is falsifying data but merely that confidence in one-off instruments sort of 'breaks' experimental review.

I think that gravitational waves were likely and it was just a matter of time until they were detected.

But, on the other hand, LIGO had been running for 15 years with no results.

The threat of de-funding could push an unscrupulous researcher to falsify data and others to not look into things in too much depth, lest their position (and income) also go.

A conspiracy, then is not too far fetched.

Remember also that a whistle blower would not necessarily be listened to if the conspirators closed rank and stood firm. In such case, the whistle blower's scientific credibility would be jeopardized.



posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 12:36 PM
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I always figured science was based on skepticism. Historically, at great cost to the scientist. There are very few "laws" that we accept as truth. Everything else is still wrong, but less wrong than it was last year. It's not a religion. Denial is fundamental.



posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 12:54 PM
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originally posted by: TEOTWAWKIAIFF
Skeptical is one thing but the guy from OP is paranoid.
I did bring up the neutron star merger in my reply to Chronaut as a second event that would be even harder to fake (probably impossible given all the facilities involved) than the first event (black hole merger), but just to be clear, the man in the OP video (Dr. Adhikari) was not talking about the neutron star event. He was only referring to the first black hole event with far fewer facilities involved, and since your reply seems to infer that he should have known there was no way to fake the second event (neutron star merger), I just wanted to clarify he wasn't talking about that.

edit on 2017113 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 01:16 PM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur

The first one? Where the guy got the Nobel Prize and the others for their engineering to make/design the facility? That was after they upgraded LIGO (2015?).

GW 1, Nobel Prizes and black hole (BH) mergers (google says 2016 for NP). GW 2 and GW 3 were also BH mergers. GW 4 is the neutron star merger.

Seems that upgraded LIGO is working! It is not that surprising that v.1 LIGO did not detect anything. Most of the observations were mostly to get used to operating the instrument, fine tuning, those automated detections, etc.

A CT around the first run? I'll stand by comment!




posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 01:27 PM
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So we all just stared at each other for a while and said "Did you do it?" "Did you do it?"... 


Sounds both rigorous and scientific.


(I'm not disputing gravitational waves; I just thought this was funny. It couldn't be fraud-- we asked each other if we were frauds, and everyone said, "nope")



posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 02:10 PM
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originally posted by: RadioRobert



So we all just stared at each other for a while and said "Did you do it?" "Did you do it?"... 


Sounds both rigorous and scientific.


(I'm not disputing gravitational waves; I just thought this was funny. It couldn't be fraud-- we asked each other if we were frauds, and everyone said, "nope")


I realize you aren't disputing this gravitational waves, but for what it's worth (for others who may dispute it)...

...The 2017 event would have been very difficult to fake considering that moments after the gravitational waves were detected (and the automated alerts went out to other observatories), another observatory detected a gamma ray burst (GRB) in the exact lame location of the gravitational wave source.

That would be quite the trick for the "faker" to predict where and when a GRB was going to happen and prompt the LIGO detectors to give fake gravitational wave readings immediately prior to the detection of the GRB.

edit on 3/11/2017 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 02:51 PM
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originally posted by: chr0naut

But, on the other hand, LIGO had been running for 15 years with no results.

The threat of de-funding could push an unscrupulous researcher to falsify data and others to not look into things in too much depth, lest their position (and income) also go.


You have to look into context before you can really make such statements with any confidence.

1) The LIGO experiment had been around for 15 years with no result... they didn't run the same system for 15 years and finally nail it... they have run several generations and iterations on technology which changed the sensitivity of the experiment a great deal.
2) The first detection was made during commissioning... what this means is that they had recently completed the detector and where brining systems online, doing tests and making sure things worked correctly.

Sooooo do you think that makes your statements of what if's at all credible? They had just started running a new detector, No government would defund such an experiment as it would be biggest demonstation of stupidity. A government would only de-fund once the detector run had been completed and the collaboration went back out to put in further funding proposals or upgrade proposals.

Some of you also seem to be of the opinion that working at the LHC or one one of these experiments makes you rich. Sure a lecturer might get well paid but a research scientist... not so much... for the amount of effort and stress you have to put in, its really not worth it if you want to get wealthy.



posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 04:46 PM
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originally posted by: Soylent Green Is People

originally posted by: Arbitrageur
The subsequent observation involving neutron stars included not only the LIGO detectors but many other telescopes and observatories so the chances of such a large conspiratorial collaboration succeeding without being detected goes down as more and more facilities are involved, especially when any scientist involved could boost his own career by proving the data was wrong or faked.


Yes. This was a prime example of "Multi-messenger astronomy".

A few moments after LIGO detected the gravitational waves of the merging neutron stars, the Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope detected a high energy EM burst from the exact same location of space. That coincidental observation of one event from multiple sources (and using multiple methods of detection) is a good confirmation that the event happened.

Multi-messenger astronomy is one of the new buzz-phrases in astronomy. The idea is that through coordinated efforts between multiple detectors that together can receive multiple messenger-carriers (electromagnetic radiation, gravitational waves, neutrinos, and cosmic rays) of an event or object, much more can be learned about that event or object by correlating the coincidental data from each messenger.

...It would be as if in the old proverb about the four blind men each describing a part of one elephant, the four blind men all got together and compered each others observations in a carefully coordinated manner, they would have eventually got an entire description of the elephant.



They did have some false alarms in the past. Everything from delivery trucks rumbling past, good trains shooting past, distortions caused by the orbit of the moon, even dripping taps, microwaves starting up. All of that had to be factored out using signal processing. They knew the frequency of the gravitational waves from theory, so they knew where to look. They have two or more detectors to rule out false alarms.



posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 05:37 PM
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a reply to: booyakasha

Thanks for that video, very well laid out.



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