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人类首次探测到引力波!证实爱因斯坦理论

2016-02-18


  爱语导读:人类首次直接探测到了引力波!证实了爱因斯坦广义相对论的预言。引力波天文学是人类认识宇宙的全新窗口,必将引发一场天文学的革命。



  Scientists have for the first time observed ripples in the fabricof spacetime called gravitational waves, arriving at the earth froma cataclysmic event in the distant universe. It confirms a majorprediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativityand opens an unprecedented new window to the cosmos, according to agroup of scientists at a press conference in Washington onThursday.
  科学家首次探测到“时空的涟漪”-即引力波,它由宇宙深处的激变事件形成,到达地球后被探测到。周四,一组科学家在华盛顿新闻发布会上称,这项发现证实了爱因斯坦1915年提出的广义相对论,并且为人类认识宇宙打开了一扇史无前例的全新窗口。
  “This is truly scientific moonshot. We did it. We landed on themoon,” exclaimed David Reitz, executive director of the LIGOLaboratory at Caltech, at the conference in the National PressClub.
  “这堪比科学界的登月计划,我们做到了,我们登上月球了!”激光干涉引力波天文台的执行董事大卫赖茨在国家新闻俱乐部大声宣布。
  According to the National Science Foundation (NSF) experts,gravitational waves carry information about their dramatic originsand about the nature of gravity that cannot be obtained fromelsewhere. Physicists have concluded that the detectedgravitational waves were produced during the final fraction of asecond of the merger of two black holes to produce a single, moremassive spinning black hole. This collision of two black holes hadbeen predicted but never observed.
  据美国国家科学基金会(NSF)的专家称,引力波携带着引人注目的其最初起源的信息,并且携带着其他任何地方都无法获得的引力本质的信息。物理学家已推断出,探测到的引力波是在两颗黑洞合并成一个更大的、高速旋转的黑洞过程中,在最后若干分之一秒产生的。这两个黑洞的碰撞早已被预言,但从未被观测到。
  The gravitational waves were detected on Sept 14, 2015 at 5:51 amEDT by both of the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-waveObservatory (LIGO) detectors, located in Livingston, Louisiana, andHanford, Washington.
  这束引力波于2015年9月14日下午5:51分(东部夏季时)被探测到,探测仪器是分别位于路易斯安那州列文斯顿和华盛顿州汉福德的两台孪生引力波探测器(LIGO)。
  Based on the observed signals, LIGO scientists estimate that theblack holes for this event were about 29 and 36 times the mass ofthe sun, and the event took place 1.3 billion years ago. Aboutthree times the mass of the sun was converted into gravitationalwaves in a fraction of a second -- with a peak power output about50 times that of the whole visible universe. By looking at the timeof arrival of the signals -- the detector in Livingston recordedthe event 7 milliseconds before the detector in Hanford --scientists can say that the source was located in the SouthernHemisphere, according to a press release from NSF, which funded theresearch.
  基于探测到的信号,LIGO科学家们估计这次碰撞的两颗黑洞质量分别为29颗太阳和36颗太阳,碰撞大约发生在13亿年前。约3颗太阳的质量在最后若干分之一秒转化成引力波-以整个可见宇宙中最大输出功率50倍的功率。据NSF(这项研究的投资方)的一篇新闻稿称,通过观察信号到达时间-列文斯顿探测器比汉福德探测器早7毫秒记录了这个事件-科学家们能够推断源头在南半球。
  According to general relativity, a pair of black holes orbitingaround each other lose energy through the emission of gravitationalwaves, causing them to gradually approach each other over billionsof years, and then much more quickly in the final minutes. Duringthe final fraction of a second, the two black holes collide atnearly half the speed of light and form a single more massive blackhole, converting a portion of the combined black holes’ mass toenergy, according to Einstein’s formula E=mc2. This energy isemitted as a final strong burst of gravitational waves. These arethe gravitational waves that LIGO observed.
  根据广义相对论,一对围绕着彼此旋转的黑洞随着引力波的发射而损失能量,导致它们在数十亿年间逐渐相互靠近,在最后几分钟速度会大幅增加。根据爱因斯坦的方程E=mc2,在最后的若干分之一秒内,两个黑洞以近乎1/2光速的速度碰撞,形成一个质量更大的黑洞,并将结合而成的黑洞质量的一部分转化为能量。这部分能量会以强大引力波的形式释放,即LIGO观测到的引力波。
  The existence of gravitational waves was first demonstrated inthe 1970s and 1980s by Joseph Taylor, Jr., and colleagues. In 1974,Taylor and Russell Hulse discovered a binary system composed of apulsar in orbit around a neutron star. Taylor and Joel M. Weisbergin 1982 found that the orbit of the pulsar was slowly shrinkingover time because of the release of energy in the form ofgravitational waves. For discovering the pulsar and showing that itwould make possible this particular gravitational wave measurement,Hulse and Taylor were awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize inPhysics.
  引力波的存在最早是由约瑟夫泰勒和他的同事们于20世纪70年代和80年代证明的。1974年,泰勒和拉塞尔赫尔斯发现了一颗在轨道上运行的脉冲星,它位于一颗中子星附近。1982年,泰勒和约瑟夫M.韦斯伯格发现脉冲星轨道随着时间推移逐步缩小,原因是能量以引力波形式发射了出去。由于发现了脉冲星而且这将可能使得引力波测量成为可能,赫尔斯和泰勒荣获1993年诺贝尔物理学奖。
  The new LIGO discovery is the first observation of gravitationalwaves themselves, made by measuring the tiny disturbances the wavesmake to space and time as they pass through the earth.
  LIGO的新发现是人类首次观测到引力波本身,通过测量引力波传播经过地球时对时空造成的微小扰动而观测到。
  “Our observation of gravitational waves accomplishes an ambitiousgoal set out over five decades ago to directly detect this elusivephenomenon and better understand the universe, and, fittingly,fulfills Einstein’s legacy on the 100th anniversary of his generaltheory of relativity,” Reitze said.
  “我们这次观测到引力波,实现了50多年前设立的宏伟目标-直接观测这难以捕捉的现象,并且对宇宙有了更好的了解,而且值相对论100周年纪念日之时,证实了爱因斯坦遗留的理论。”赖茨说。
  LIGO research is carried out by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration(LSC), a group of more than 1,000 scientists from universitiesaround the United States and in 14 other countries. More than 90universities and research institutes in the LSC develop detectortechnology and analyze data; approximately 250 students are strongcontributing members of the collaboration.
  LIGO研究项目由LIGO科学合作组织(LSC)发起,LSC是由1000多名来自美国及其他14个国家的大学的科学家组成的团体。LSC中,超过90所大学和研究机构致力于开发探测技术和分析数据;约250名学生为这个合作组织做出了卓越贡献。
  “This detection is the beginning of a new era: The field ofgravitational wave astronomy is now a reality,” says GabrielaGonzalez, LSC spokesperson and professor of physics and astronomyat Louisiana State University.
  “这次探测是一个新纪元的开端:天文学的引力波领域现在成为了现实。”LSC发言人,兼路易斯安那州立大学的物理天文学教授加布里埃拉冈萨雷斯说。
  LIGO was originally proposed as a means of detectinggravitational waves in the 1980s by Rainer Weiss from MIT; KipThorne and Ronald Drever, both from Caltech.
  LIGO最初被提议用作探测引力波的方法是在1980年代,由麻省理工的雷纳韦斯、加州理工学院的基普索恩和罗纳德德雷弗提出。
  “The deion of this observation is beautifully described in theEinstein theory of general relativity formulated 100 years ago andcomprises the first test of the theory in strong gravitation. Itwould have been wonderful to watch Einstein’s face had we been ableto tell him,” Weiss said.
  “这种探测方法在100年前爱因斯坦广义相对论有过完美的描述,它成为强引力的最初验证方法。如果我们有机会告诉爱因斯坦,能看到他的表情,那实在太棒了。”韦斯说。
  “With this discovery, we humans are embarking on a marvelous newquest: the quest to explore the warped side of the universe --objects and phenomena that are made from warped spacetime.Colliding black holes and gravitational waves are our firstbeautiful examples,” said Thorne.
  “有了这项发现,人类要开始着手一段非凡的探索:探索宇宙的弯曲面-由扭曲时空构成的物体和现象。黑洞碰撞和引力波是我们漂亮的开端。”索恩说。
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