Was It All Just Noise? Independent Analysis Casts Doubt On LIGO's Detections
After an effort of more than 100 years and a collaboration involving over 1,000 scientists, we all celebrated. It was Feb. 11, 2016, and LIGO had just announced their first direct detection of gravitational waves. Analysis of the data attributed the signal to a black hole merger that happened several billion light years away. But what if there wasn't a signal at all, but rather patterns and correlations in the noise that fooled us into believing we were seeing something that wasn't real? A group of Danish researchers just submitted a paper arguing that the celebration might have been premature.