LISA Pathfinder En Route to Space, New Hunt For Gravitational Waves Starts

By on December 6, 2015

The European Union has launched their LISA Pathfinder deep into space tasked with carrying out several complex universal physics experiments some 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.

The device will perform experiments on new technologies needed in the future to find the so far elusive gravitational waves. The existence of gravitational waves was for the first time predicted by Albert Einstein. Einstein predicted that gravitational waves exist in the form of ripples surrounding the curvature of space-time produced by massive celestial events. The space-time itself as per Einstein is formed by supernova explosions and pair of orbiting black holes.

LISA Pathfinder is expected to provide scientists with the data needed to explore the complexities like black holes integration, understanding this integration further gives insight into the growth of galaxies.

The Pathfinder is launched from Kourou, French Guyana on December 2. The device will perform experiments deep in space some 1.5 kilometers from Earth. The mission is expected to continue for a decade.

Pathfinder is fitted with a single device which will keep an eye on 38 centimeter distance between a gold and platinum piece. The laser device will precisely measure the movements of the two metal pieces while they fall through some distance. The device is capable of measuring distances smaller than the diameter of an atom.

We’ve made great progress with LISA Pathfinder in the past decade and are very excited to be so close to operating this incredible physics laboratory in space, said Paul McNamara, ESA’s project scientist.

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