Gravity Wave books


Gravity's Ghost by Harry Collins, PSU QC179.C646 2011

Sociologist Harry Collins studying the LIGO Consortium, and how the scientists make decisions about what is true. They study absurdly weak and noisy signals, and they bend over backwards to avoid being fooled, as most believe that Joseph Weber and later Italian researchers were fooled.

Note: At the same time, I checked out Collins and Kusch The Shape of Actions, TA167.C65 1998. Vaguely interesting, but too much word salad. I'm more interested in how brains work than how we classify their actions. Of course, a sociologist would question my use of "work" and "actions" and other labels.

Gravitational Waves, Volume 1: Theory and Experiments, by Michele Maggiore, PSU QC179.M34 2008

Way too technical for me, mostly deriving the phenomena from General Relativity. Some interesting numbes and relatively simple algebra about the Hulse-Taylor pulsar, I could almost understand that.

Gravity's Kiss by Harry Collins, Tigard 539.754 2017

About the social interactions and the decision processes that produced the first LIGO detection announcement. The GW150914 event was significantly stronger than the threshold events the decision process was designed to accept or dismiss; most of the argument was about wording, rather than validity.

Ray Frey of UO tells of his grad students working on testing and calibration at Hanford, the just before the early morning detection. Because the coffee was bad, they quit and went to bed, leaving the Hanford detector in observation rather than calibration mode. A few hours later, the strong coincidence event at both Hanford and Livingston.

If the GW150914 event had only been measured at Livingston, it would be strong enough to qualify as a detection, but it would not have the time-slide coincidence with Hanford to validate it. The resulting controversy might have torn the consortium apart, and Collins would have written an entirely different book.

GravityWaves (last edited 2018-08-07 16:44:57 by KeithLofstrom)