The LIGO-VIRGO collaboration has detected directly on Earth the gravitational wave signals generated by the collision and the merger of two massive black holes at astronomical distance. This major discovery opens up the way to Gravitational Astronomy, which should revolutionize our comprehension of the structure of the Universe at large scales, with notably the mechanisms of formation of black holes and their role in the evolution of the Universe, the likely emergence of a multi-messenger astronomy joint with electromagnetic radiation, and a better appraisal of the status of general relativity with respect to other fundamental interactions. The theoretical and numerical works on the two-body problem in general relativity play a very important role when deciphering and interpreting the gravitational wave signals.
- Pub Date:
- January 2017
- Physics - Popular Physics;
- General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology
- 10 pages, 6 figures, published in "Reflets de la Physique", one historical point clarified, discussion on stellar winds corrected, in French