Gravitational wave scientists looking for evidence of “lensing,” in which the faintest gravitational wave signals become amplified, are unlikely to make these detections in the near future according to new analysis by scientists at the University of Birmingham.
A team in the University’s School of Physics and Astronomy and the Institute for Gravitational Wave Astronomy has analyzed currently available gravitational wave data to predict that these elusive signals are likely to remain undetected by the instruments currently operated by the LIGO and Virgo Collaboration.
The existence of gravitational lensing was predicted by Einstein and is a well-recognized phenomenon in relation to light waves. Light emitted by distant objects in the Universe is bent by the gravitational pull of other massive objects, such as galaxies when the light source passes behind them. When detected by the earth’s telescopes, this distortion might make the light-emitting object seem larger