Key achievements in gravitational waves research

The international collaborations LIGO and Virgo, the latter including several researchers from the IRMP, have announced the detection of an extraordinarily massive merging binary system: two black holes of 66 and 85 solar masses, which generated a final black hole of around 142 solar masses. The remnant black hole lies in a range of mass within which a black hole has never before been observed and may help to explain the formation of supermassive black holes that are believed to be present at the center of the majority of the galaxies of our universe. Moreover, the most massive component of the binary system lies in a mass range forbidden by stellar evolution theory and challenges our understanding of the final stages of massive stars life. This black hole may even suggest the existence of primordial black holes, formed a millisecond after the Big-Bang.

References :
- official press release of the Virgo and LIGO collaborations
- article on Science Today from UCLouvain

A few days later an international consortium of European universities and research centers, including UCLouvain, submitted to the “European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures” (ESFRI) a dossier for the inclusion of the “Einstein Telescope” project, a future observatory European gravitational wave, to the ESFRI roadmap. This dossier is accompanied by the official political support of several governments of the EU member states, including Belgium. One of the sites where this international research infrastructure could be built is the Euregio-Meuse-Rhine region, on the border between Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

References :
Below annexed an official press release and a description of the Einstein Telescope project


Picture © Ingrid Bourgault

Published on September 21, 2020