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What Does a Black Hole Look Like?$
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Charles D. Bailyn

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691148823

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691148823.001.0001

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Detecting Blackholes through Gravitational Waves

Detecting Blackholes through Gravitational Waves

(p.150) 9 Detecting Blackholes through Gravitational Waves
What Does a Black Hole Look Like?

Charles D. Bailyn

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at the detection of black holes through gravitational waves. While further improvements can be expected in the ability to detect and measure electromagnetic radiation, it is possible that the next great advances in observational astrophysics will come from the detection of other kinds of information altogether. Currently, there is a great excitement about the possibility of directly detecting an entirely new “celestial messenger,” namely, gravitational radiation. The existence of gravitational waves is a prediction of general relativity, and current technology is very close to being able to detect them directly. The strongest sources of gravitational radiation are expected to be merging black holes. Since such mergers are expected to occur, both between stellar-mass and supermassive black holes, the detection of gravitational radiation would provide a new way not only to explore gravitational physics but also to look for and to study celestial black holes.

Keywords:   black holes, gravitational waves, observational astrophysics, gravitational radiation, general relativity, gravitational physics, merging black holes

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