An acoustical analogue of a galactic-scale gravitational-wave detector

Michael T. Lam, Joseph D. Romano, Joey S. Key, Marc Normandin, Jeffrey S. Hazboun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


By precisely monitoring the "ticks" of Nature's most precise clocks (millisecond pulsars), scientists are trying to detect the "ripples in spacetime" (gravitational waves) produced by the inspirals of supermassive black holes in the centers of distant merging galaxies. Here, we describe a relatively simple demonstration that uses two metronomes and a microphone to illustrate several techniques used by pulsar astronomers to search for and detect gravitational waves. An adapted version of this demonstration could be used as an instructional laboratory investigation at the undergraduate level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-764
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'An acoustical analogue of a galactic-scale gravitational-wave detector'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this