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Published September 1972 | public
Journal Article

Gravitational-Wave Astronomy


The "windows" of observational astronomy have become broader. They now include, along with photons from many decades of the electromagnetic spectrum, extraterrestrial "artifacts" of other sorts: cosmic rays, meteorites, particles from the solar wind, samples of the lunar surface, and neutrinos. With gravitational-wave astronomy, we are on the threshold-or just beyond the threshold-of adding another window; it is a particularly important window because it will allow us to observe phenomena that cannot be studied adequately by other means: gravitational collapse, the interiors of supernovae, black holes, short-period binaries, and perhaps new details of pulsar structure. There is the further possibility that gravitational-wave astronomy will reveal entirely new phenomena-or familiar phenomena in unfamiliar guise-in trying to explain the observations of Joseph Weber.

Additional Information

© 1972 Annual Reviews. For valuable discussions we thank many colleagues, particularly V. B. Braginskii and G. J. Dick. For assistance with the literature search we thank M. Ko and L. Will. The survey of literature for this review was concluded in December 1971. Supported in part by the National Science Foundation (GP-28027, GP-27304) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Caltech/JPL contract NAS 7-100 (188-41-54-02-01), and grant NGR 05-002-256. Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Fellow.

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October 23, 2023