While Thorne and the Ligonauts are reveling on the good ship Ligosy on high seas, let us schmooze a little.
In various prior posts I explained what LIGO actually observed (geomagnetic disturbance.) However, if you are interested only in the proof that LIGO never detected any gravitational waves, you need not go into all that. This proof comes entirely from the LIGO discovery diagram itself.
I. THE DISCOVERY ASSUMPTIONS
The inference of detection of gravitational wave and the discovery of Blackhole merger rest 100% on these unproven claims about the instrument:
(a). The instrument functions at such level of precision that it can quantify “movement” down to one-thousandth the diameter of a proton.
(b). The gravitational waveform incident on LIGO appears as an interferometer-generated waveform at its output, where the two waveforms are linked by the transfer function of an ideal instrument. Only then can a prediction-verification connection be established between the two waveforms (i.e. there’s present no instrumental distortion.)
(c). The two LIGO instruments are functionally identical.
The precision of (a) and the idealness of (b) are interlinked. If you say instrument has any distortion, then that precision is degraded.
II. LIGO INSTRUMENTAL DISTORTION
Instrumental distortion of an input signal passing through the instrument can be understood in simplified terms as follows.
Let g(t) be the strain (fractional length change) created at LIGO by the incident gravitational waveform, taken in its entirety (starting from zero baseline and coming back to zero baseline.)
Let I(f) be the instrument transfer function (f = frequency).
The signal g(t) can be decomposed into its constituent frequencies:
g(f) = ∫g(t) exp (-2i π ft) dt
At the output of the instrument, g(f) is modified to
h(f) = g(f)xI(f)
Now the output signal is
h(t) = ∫g(f) exp (2i π ft) df
The LIGO output strain h(t) is a computer-generated trace obtained from the LIGO inteferometer.
So this is how g(t) is transformed to h(t).
The LIGO discovery assumes without proof that I(f) = 1.
In addition to I(f), there can be external sources of noise N(f) that will need to be expressed as a strain and added to g(f).
III. LIGO OBSERVATION AND THE CORRECT CONCLUSIONS
(1) Whereas the predicted LIGO incident signal (bottom panels) is a smooth undulation, the observed output signal (top panel) is jagged and sharp. There is no physical process in Blackhole merger that can imprint such features in the gravitational waveform. These features are added by instrumental effect I(f). The Ligonauts have averred strongly that there is no external noise of any kind in the main body of the signal.
Thus no prediction-verification link can be made between the input signal and the output signal before quantifying that instrument effect I(f).
Once this effect is quantified and removed from h(t), one can have a waveform g(t) that is to be compared with the predicted waveform (bottom panels).
With known instruments – such as a radio telescope – this is not a problem. The observed signal will generally be found to be a corrupted version of the incident signal. However, LIGO is an entirely unknown territory and one can make no such statements.
Furthermore, I(f) is not quantifiable because the conditions of a gravitational wave cannot be reproduced in a controlled experiment.
The ringing and the chirp in h(t) – the telltale identifying signatures of the Blackhole merger – could have come from I(f), for all we know. We have absolutely no knowledge what g(t) was actually observed . The bottom panels in the above figure are not g(t). The world has been deceived into thinking it is. This is the central LIGO deception.
(2) The output signals h(t) at two stations (WA and LA) are different from each other, counterindicating a gravitational waveform. (There is no way in which the gravitational waveform g (t) can change between two stations.)
(3) Any explaining away of these conundrums to salvage the discovery would require invoking ad hoc instrumental faults. But any such faults would undermine both the discovery assumptions (a) and (b), and hence the discovery itself.
There is no way out. This is what happens when you operate with an uncharacterized and uncharacterizable instrument.
But of course these conundrums are not real. They arise falsely because the inference of detection of gravitational wave is false to begin with.
So what is one to do with LIGO?
If the LIGO tubes were covered with bright-colored fabric, they might serve as a piece of Christo-style art.