Scientists Detect The 'Chirp' of A New Baby Black Hole - Insight Trending
Scientists Detect The 'Chirp' of A New Baby Black Hole

If Einstein's theory of general relativity holds true, then a black hole, born from the cosmically quaking collisions of two massive black holes, should itself ring, producing gravitational waves.Einstein was right, for the first time, astronomers have recorded the gravitational waves given off by the formation of a new black hole.

Einstein predicted that the particular pitch and decay of these gravitational waves should be a direct signature of the newly formed black hole's mass and spin.

Astronomers heard it in the gravitational waves emitted in the wake of a collision more than 1 billion light-years away, which were detected on Earth in 2015. 

Physicists from MIT and elsewhere have heard the ringing of an infant black hole for the first time.Gravitational waves are slight disturbances in the curvature of space-time which scientists only just recently have been able to measure. 

The waves, which rippled out from the cosmic newborn like the sound waves emanating from a ringing bell, are the first of their kind to be detected and studied, according to research published Wednesday in the Journal Physical Review Letters.Einstein's calculations suggested after black holes collide, the pitch and decay of the waves should tell you exactly how big the new mass is, and how fast it's spinning.

And it’s that distinct “ringing,” the researchers said in an MIT press release, that lends even further credibility to Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

According to the press release, Einstein’s prediction that black holes have only three observable properties — mass, spin, and electric charge.

"We all expect general relativity to be correct, but this is the first time we have confirmed it in this way," said NASA's Maximiliano Isi, who led the new study.

"We detect an overall gravitational wave signal that's made up of multiple frequencies, which fade away at different rates, like the different pitches that make up a sound. Each frequency or tone corresponds to a vibrational frequency of the new black hole."

They managed to extract a signal from the mess that was from the newly born black hole - not the collision itself. 

Translating the data into audio, it reportedly sounded like a "chirp". Sadly, the researchers don't appear to have released the recording.

The study has also all-but proven black holes are "hairless" - lacking any other characteristics but mass, spin, and an electric charge - just as Einstein predicted. Everything else the black hole might have is swallowed up.

"This is the first experimental measurement that succeeds in directly testing the no-hair theorem," said Isi. "It doesn't mean black holes couldn't have hair. It means the picture of black holes with no hair lives for one more day."

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