The Absurdity of Detecting Gravitational Waves

Follow by Email
A head-vaporizing laser with a perfect wavelength detecting sub-proton space-time ripples. Huge thanks to Prof Rana Adhikari and LIGO: Here's how he felt when he learned about the first ever detection: Thanks to Patreon supporters: Nathan Hansen, Donal Botkin, Tony Fadell, Saeed Alghamdi, Zach Mueller, Ron Neal Support Veritasium on Patreon: A lot of videos have covered the general overview of the discovery of gravitational waves, what they are, the history of the search, when they were found but I wanted to delve into the absurd science that made the detection possible. When scientists want one megawatt of laser power, it's not just for fun (though I'm sure it's that too), it's because the fluctuations in the number of photons is proportional to their square root, making more powerful beams less noisy (as a fraction of their total). The smoothest mirrors were created not for aesthetic joy but because when you're trying to measure wiggles that are a fraction the width of a proton, a rough mirror surface simply won't do. Filmed by Daniel Joseph Files Music by Kevin MacLeod, "Black Vortex" (appropriately named) Music licensed from Epidemic Sound "Observations 2" (also appropriately named)

Comments from Youtube

MR SLAV : Imagine explaining what you do to your investors

Tot tota : investor: So explain to me what you're doing with my $100,000,000 again? scientist: *mmmmMMMMwobwobwobwob* investor: oh... oke

Kevy Elyod : Why wear laser goggles if the 1MW laser beam would vaporise your head?

dan parish : Don't you just love hearing smart people talk who are experts in the field?

Marc Normandin : The host asks great questions and the professor answers very well.

Amadis Demitrius : I apparently need to use more photons because my uncertainty levels are very high...

VodkaHindJelly : "you have this stick which is moving and stretching so you don't know how many inches it is" That's what she said.

feeshschticks : All that equipment and not an iron in sight to help that guy's shirt out.

Rens : the guy looked so cool with his glasses lol

Eric Taylor : "All the air had to be eliminated." This phrase if comically sinister for some reason.

ChopperDoc181 : Don't mind me. Just scrolling though looking for flat earthers so I can report them to the NASA Conspiracy Enforcement Division. Carry on.

Quapadople : Tha guy looks more like a gangster than a scientist:))

Jonseredi : Veritasium you're probably not going to reach this but I sincerely think your videos are awesome

Miika Mäentaus : That guy's shirt has been affected by some gravitational waves

DBIGFUT : That guy is the coolest physicist not neil degrasse tyson

Jean-Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg : Prof. Rana is a cool guy!

Hayro Garciga : i wish there was more money going to the sciences so we can increase the speed of progress.

Raziel : I wonder what their electricity bill must be like.

J Pa : *video starts *doesn't understand anything *keeps watching *video ends **feels smart*

Constantin Suman : Should’ve used 1.21 GigaWatts.

Rich 91 : 5:35 oy vey...shut it down!!!

PsychosithS Dead skin rippers : Wait isnt this a weapon of mass destruction?

Michael Lubin : We're learning stuff nature doesn't want us to learn. Right on. Screw nature!

James Blackburn : Rana Adhikari seems like an incredibly cool dude.

Atul Badgujar : When 2 smart people talking about science Me:🤔😵🤷

iEuno1 : Yes, but at that scale, it could be caused by another source.

K1naku5ana3R1ka : Perhaps a better title would be “What Does it Take To Detect Gravitational Waves?”

Tai Jarman : Can't wait until 2060 when we all have gravitational wave detectors in our phones.

Luis Mendonça : Whatever you do, never forget, you will never be as cool as this Indian guy with gravity affected shirt, mirror lenses glasses and just awaken messy hair cool.

Peter Peterson : OK so we can detect gravitational waves. What does this help us do ?

banter banter : He is Nepali

David Cook : That was awesome! great explanation

erikig : Rana Adhikari looks like the scientist you have to drag out of the bar to save the world at the end of a sci-fi movie when the pencil necked number cruncher have failed

PsychosithS Dead skin rippers : the fact that its up on yoputube means they need funds to make up for that investment hole.

Collin Palomares : Professor Adhikari seems like the dude of science. How cool can one guy get, genius and super chill?!?! New life goal is to meet this guy!

Random Anime : The sound of blackhole Expectation:vrooooboombaambooom Realiti: *blop*

Michael 732 : One megawatt of power. "Enough to leave you with a smoking stump." Good thing you're wearing those safety glasses.

1ucasvb : Hah, Prof. Rana is awesome!

Rhoy Solomon : You see all things good , keep it up

Roger Limoseth : 1 megawatt wont even take your head off, itll be like boom your heads gone. Lol

Filthy Filter : Detect all of the black holes in the universe? :'O Sounds so promising hope it comes true one day <3 I feel awe with such progress and new skills humanity achieves ^_^

Faustin Gashakamba : My next Android phone should come with a gravitational wave sensor. Samsung, hear me?

wasup23tube : I live in hanford... and i make boards at a different company for LIGO, i never knew what they did. I know now.

DruMusica : Wow you asked two of the very questions I've been asking myself for a long time about the process of detecting gravitational waves. Thanks so much for this well prepared interview, great job.

Shantanu Deshmukh : Why is Rana adhkari so awesome!! Was he high...he's perfect😹

XxTrigerHappyxX : Gravitational waves... The heart beat of the universe!

It's Okay To Be Smart : A megawatt *continuous* laser? That's a helluva beam. I toured the Petawatt laser in Austin but that thing only fires for like a trillionth of a second

Advection : They're not 2 light beams... it's one beam from a single laser that is split into 2 beams to make sure the source is synchronized. Your diagram and understanding of the experiment is incorrect... but cool video :P

Craig Wall : One of the few really good physics videos.