Before the republica started in berlin, we had another sciencetweetup. We met at the MS Wissenschaft, which is a ship filled all over with rocket science. Again Henning Krause from the Helmholtz society invited us. The main point of my interest was a guy from the Max Planck society talking about gravitational waves and black holes. But the boat is filled with other science and nerd stuff. It reaches from psychology and medicine to the analyze of ways of storks. But also black holes!

The psychologist on board told us something about medicine and psychology thinking about being addicted to the internet and to the smartphone. Well! My first thought was that they would be inventing a new major disease, because everyone is nearly all the time online. But he says that the criterias are very high to assume an addiction, because they are realistic. He is from the university of Bonn. They have an app for measuring your smartphone consum.

A chemist told us about new implants. When you need a new hip they always used titan. But the density of titan is naturally more than that of a bone. So they are researching which chemical combinations would be best to have the density near to a bone. They have a game on the MS Wissenschaft, so I won’t tell you the answer.

Also with an app you can go searching storks, for example in spain and write some stories about them. They have put some gps sender on a couple of storks and then made made some gps game out of it. It sounds rather funny and the guy presenting this stuff was rather sympathic,too.

But now to the black holes. My readers know that I’m a big fan of the physics of the space. Albert Einstein predicted about a century ago that one could proove gravitational waves from neutron stars. There is some crisseling in the space time that you can make hearable. They have a game for that where you have to extract the sound of neutron stars out of some sound. But I was rather interessed in the technique. Via computer clients and cloud based computing they have established a supercomputer together with american friends. That supercomputer is searching for the sounds of gravitational waves. I for myself have installed it on my computer to be part of it. You have to install Boinc and search for Einstein@Home. Then everytime you stop at your computer and the screensaver turns on your searching for black holes making sound. You would earn a certificate from great researchers if your computer would be the one to find it.

I have had an interview afterwards on twitter with Ben Knispel, one of their scientists. I posed some questions. They were:

Please describe Einstein@Home

Can there a value of teraflops be measured within the system

How do they then compare to normal supercomputers like the Juqueen in the science center of Julich

One is proving gravitational waves. Waves are rays. Does that mean that rays are leaving a black hole

Which role would then play hawking radiation or let’s say some hawking mechanism

What is the advantage of Einstein@Home towards Bicep2, an experiment making news by having proved gravitatinal waves

When do you think the experiment has proven gravitational waves and will sigma 6 be fulfilled

His answers were in German:

1: EatH ist ein verteiltes freiwilliges Rechenprojekt. Teilnehmer aus aller Welt stellen Rechenzeit auf Computern/Smartphones für wissenschaftliche Datenanalyse bereit – quasi als Bildschirmschoner. Gesucht: Neutronensterne, Gravitationswellen (GW).

2: Die genaue Messung ist schwierig. Je nach Metrik landet man zwischen 560 TFLOPS und 1120 TFLOPS für EatH-Rechenleistung.

3. Ungefähr ein Fünftel oder Zehntel von JUQUEEN, aber immer unter den 55 schnellsten Rechnern weltweit

4: Gravitationswellen entstehen, wenn sich kompakte, massereiche Objekte schnell bewegen: zwei Schwarze Löcher, die sich umrunden oder z.B. ein schnell rotierender Neutronenstern mit Unebenheiten (danach sucht EatH). Einzelnes Schwarzes Loch -> keine GW.

5: Hawkingstrahlung ist EM-Strahlung und Teilchen und vollkommen anders als GW. GW sind Raumzeitkräuselungen.

6: BICEP-Messungen waren (falls korrekt) ein weiterer indirekter Nachweis von GW, den gab es auch schon früher (Nobelpreis 1993). Unsere Detektoren (LIGO, Virgo, GEO600) messen die Effekte der GW direkt und werden ein völlig neues Fenster zum Universum öffnen.

7: Nachweis wird imho (hoffentlich) in den nächsten 5 Jahren kommen. Der wäre dann eindeutig und sicher, weil einzelne Ereignisse gemessen werden. Und publiziert werden nur solche, bei denen die Signifikanz ausreichend hoch ist. Wir brauchen nicht zu “sammeln”.

One might translate it tihis way in English:

Einstein@Home is a distributed computer system where people share cpu power for scientific computer analyses. This works with a screensaver. Einstein@Home is searching for neutron stars and gravitational waves.

The contributed cpu speed lies between 550 and 1120 Teraflops.

This is between a fifth or a tenth of the Juqueen in Julich. With this result we are under the top 55 supercomputers in the world.

A single black hole does not submit gravitational waves. Only a fast rotating neutron star with some defects or two black holes surrounding each other submits these waves.

Therefore Hawking radiation does not play a role, because it consists of electromagnetic rays and particles. Gravitational waves on the opposite are spacetime effects.

The advantage of Einstein@Home towards BICEP2 is that BICEP2 is only inderectly proving gravitational waves. For this, there was a noble price in 1993. We are directly measuring it what will open a complete new door to the universe.

We are hoping and looking forward to have sure results in 5 years. And they will scientifically be reasonable and reproducable.

I thank Ben Knispel a lot for taking his precious time to give some answers that arouse to me. I encourage everyone to download Boinc and take part in the modern human swarm exploring the universe.

Yours sincerly
Till