# Prof. Lewandowski: it’s a pity that the gravitational waves were not awarded to prof. Trautman

**The Nobel Prize for the study of gravitational waves was also due to a Pole, prof. To Andrew Trautman, who in the 1950s. The 20th century. made a great contribution to the study of gravitational radiation – argued in an interview with PAP prof. Jerzy Lewandowski of the Department of Physics of the UW.**

The winners of this year s Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday were Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne. Nobel committee recognized their decisive contribution to the construction of the LIGO detector and observations of gravitational waves.

– We received the news of this year’s Nobel Prize winners with mixed feelings. We were very much looking forward to recognizing the work of Prof. Trautman, whooThe award was due to – said in an interview with PAP prof. Jerzy Lewandowski, head of the Department of the Theory of Relativity and Gravitation of the Faculty of Physics of the University of Warsaw.

According to him, the work of prof. Trautman’s work on gravitational waves came at a crucial time for the development of the field. – From Einstein’s work, published in the 1930s. It followed that Einstein doubted the existence of gravitational waves. And Trautman for the first time provided a correct description of the phenomenon of gravitational radiation using ogolna theory of relativity – noted prof. Lewandowski.

– The question on whichore then the answer was not known, was whether gravitational waves exist as a phenomenon involving the movement of energy through space-time and "leakage" of this space-time. Trautman proved it, He explained how to understand the theory of relativity. He explained that gravitational waves existed – recalled a physicist from the UW.

In 1958. Andrew Trautman presented 4 papers. – He wasn’t even a PhD at the time – stressed Prof. Lewandowski. – It was supposed to be a PhD, whichorego was to defend. In one of his papers, Trautman proved the existence of the phenomenon of gravitational radiation, reported the pattern ofor, according to whichorego can calculate the energy of this radiation, he showed that this energy is non-negative.

The result of this work his promoter – Leopold Infeld – presented in King’s College in London. The Pole provided in this wayob the missing piece of the entire group of English and American specialists in relativity theory. Thanks to this research – as assessed by prof. Lewandowski – it was possible to further develop the field.

Trautman was left to King’s College invited and for three months there taught a course on his future doctoral thesis. Prof. Lewandowski added that he took these courses roPeter Higgs (the discoverer of the so-called. Higgs particles, awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in physics for this discovery.), whoory helped Trautamn e.g. in correcting the erroneousoin the linguistic.

– Trautman’s work was not just a curiosity detached from further developments. Kip Thorne learned about Trautman s work – said prof. Lewandowski.

Talkowca PAP explained that the first paper by Kip S. Thorn’s paper on gravitational waves begins with a reference to Trautman’s work. – Thorne writes that he does not use as advanced mathematical methods as Trautman, so swoj topic will consider in some approximation – recalled Lewandowski. In his opinion, Trautman had a significant influence on Thorn.

Andrew Trautman (ur. 1933) was engaged in theoretical physics, including gravitation and ogoln the theory of relativity. His work in the 1950s. and early 1960s. In the 1930s, they made important contributions to the theory of gravitational waves, whichoric existence could be confirmed experimentally only in 2015.

Andrew Trautman. Photo. CC BY-SA 4.0/Adam Walanus/Wikimedia Commons

Gravitational waves were first mentioned by Albert Einstein in ogoThe theory of relativity, published in 1916. He predicted that waves, emitted by accelerating masses, propagate through space-time, causing it to deform (a bit like waves on the surface of water). However, he was not sure whether these waves actually existed – may have been rownly well the effect of mathematical transformations of complex rownań. Other physicists also had doubts – There were opinions that gravitational waves do not carry energy, so they are a mathematical illusion, an undetectable phenomenon of purely theoretical interest.

Such a view was represented by roAlso the head of the Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of Warsaw, prof. Leopold Infeld. However, Trautman managed to prove that gravitational waves cannot be eliminated from the pattern of theow by means of transformations of roinations – are therefore real and should be detectable.

In 1960, he supportedoln conjunction with the American Ivor Robinson, he published a description of gravitational waves, which was the solution to roEinstein’s cognitions. The work "Spherical Gravitational Waves" posted on the pages of "Physical Review Letters".

PoMore recent works of prof. Trautman’s theories, including Einstein’s–Cartan, dealing with gravity.

When the detection of gravitational waves was officially confirmed on February 11, 2016, dozens of Polish physicistsoin an official letter thanked Prof. To Andrew Trautman for proving their existence theoretically years ago. Thusob contributed to efforts thatore led to their detection. Hundreds of millions would not be spentoin dollarow for the LIGO laser interferometer, if there were no theoretical premises giving hope for the success of the experiment. Thanks to the work of prof. Trautman also developed methods to calculate wave emissions during black hole collisions and other cosmic-scale events.

"Although the detection of gravitational waves is a primarily experimental achievement, it would not have been possible without defining what gravitational waves are in Einstein’s full theory" – Polish physicists wrote in an open letter to Prof. Trautman. This letter in 2016. published "Gazeta Wyborcza". "Your work, from the late 1950s and early 1960s, lies at the very foundation of the theory of gravitational radiation and, among other things, provides its definition".

"This work has shown: first, how gravitational waves look far from the source of theodeles; secondly, that a system emitting gravitational waves has at all times a well-defined energy, whichora decreases in time (Trautman and Bondi’s formulas); and third, they contained the first rigorous solutions of pro¿nnary roEinstein’s equations describing gravitational waves from confined sourcesode³ (Robinson-Trautman metrics)" – wrote.

Physicists also recalled in a letter "of an immensely inspiring role", which the lecture series has played for the entire fieldoin prof. Trautman, delivered at King's College in London in 1958: "Your contribution to the foundations of gravitational wave theory cannot be overestimated: it was the de facto beginning of considerations thatore only recently led to the numerical and perturbation results of theow, necessary to cfownania measured signalow with the theoretical model of the process of merging of black holes. We also emphasize that it was your school of relativistic physics in Warsaw that educated a significant part of the Polish group of researchers who are in the LIGO/VIRGO team".

Andrzej Trautman was born in Warsaw. When he was 12 years old, his family moved to Paris, but after high school graduation wrohe came to Poland. He is a member of the Polish Academy of Sciences and an emeritus professor at Warsaw University.

In 2016. for outstanding contributions to scientific and research work and for achievements in international wspoThe scientific cooperation was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta. Earlier, he had received the State Prize of the first degree, while the Polish Physical Society awarded theoHe was awarded the Marian Smoluchowski medal.