LIGO's "Null Results," Interesting or Not?

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LIGO's "Null Results," Interesting or Not?

Unread postby MGmirkin » Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:37 am

So, okay, LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) is supposed to be something of an end-all, be-all tool for detecting gravitational-waves (not to be confused with gravity waves).

Gravity waves are a hypothetical "ripple in the fabric of space-time" envisioned as a consequence of Einstein's general theory of relativity. They're hypothesized to result from highly energetic events such as black hole mergers, neutrons star mergers or wobbles, etc. (though whether black holes or neutron stars actually exist is perhaps a matter for mathemagicians and/or plasma physicists / EE's to battle to the death over).

So far, it seems LIGO has failed to turn up gravity waves.

To quote from a private exchange about LIGO,

I wrote:I've managed to ferret out the original LIGO press releases from Caltech and document them on Digg. The relevant entries so far are here:

(LIGO and Virgo Join Forces In Search for Gravitational Waves)
http://digg.com/space/LIGO_and_Virgo_Jo ... onal_Waves

(LIGO Sheds Light on Cosmic Event - No Gravitational Waves...)
http://digg.com/space/LIGO_Sheds_Light_ ... onal_Waves

(NSF Funnels Additional $205M Toward Advanced LIGO Project.)
http://digg.com/space/NSF_Funnels_Addit ... GO_Project

(LIGO Observations Probe the Dynamics of the Crab Pulsar; additional null result for gravity waves, 0 for 2)
http://digg.com/space/LIGO_Observations ... rab_Pulsar

Not to mention this article from Virgo, the European counterpart to LIGO:

(h, The Gravitational Voice: LIGO Bids Farewell to S5 - Now onto Enhanced LIGO!)
http://www.ego-gw.it/public/hletter/doc ... RY2008.pdf

"Unlike its four predecessor science runs, S5 had a significantly more ambitious agenda. S5 was the first long duration data-taking run where all of the interferometers were operating with astrophysically interesting sensitivities. The main goal of S5 was to collect data in triple coincidence for one year ... The end of S5 occurred only after LIGO's three interferometers, the 4 km and 2 km interferometers at the Hanford Washington Observatory and the 4 km interferometer at the Livingston Louisiana Observatory had operated synchronously (all locked simultaneously) to acquire a total of one full year of science quality data.

[...]

We are still analyzing the S5 data and while no gravitational waves have been detected, S5 has already begun to yield interesting astrophysical results. One example - an intense gamma ray burst (GRB) occurring on February 1, 2007 was detected by gamma ray satellites originating from the direction of Andromeda (M31) galaxy, possibly due of the merger of a neutron star or black hole binary system or possibly, a soft gamma repeater."

So, [if I've understood correctly,] measurements were taken in triplicate for a period of an entire year (continuously, 24/7?), but no gravitational waves turned up!


So, in short, LIGO operated continuously in parallel for an entire year during the S5 data-gathering run but turned up no gravity wave signals, examined Gamma Ray Burst GRB070201 but found no gravity wave signal, and examined the Crab Pulsar but found no gravity wave signal. So, I'm wondering, is LIGO's sole ability that of turning out null results for gravity waves? (Probably too early to tell...)

Now the NSF (National Science Foundation) has dumped $250M into the project to upgrade the technology (which should have already been capable of detecting gravity waves, but has thus far failed to do so), chasing the ghost of gravity waves. The upgrade should "increase the sensitivity of the LIGO instruments by a factor of 10, giving a one thousand-fold increase in the number of astrophysical candidates for gravitational wave signals." However, if it still continues to return "null results" for gravity waves, what does that tell us about gravity waves? How long should we continue throwing good money after what may amount to a bad idea? If gravity waves are in effect falsified, what does that do to Einstein's relativity, and to the field of cosmology?

I might ask (as I have on Digg), how can we tell the difference between an INTERESTING null result (the LIGO team has called both null results "useful" or "interesting"), a null result that tells us NOTHING, and a null result which may INVALIDATE the notion of gravitational waves altogether?

Tough questions, all... But worth the asking, if we're to be brutally and scientifically honest with ourselves.

But, since one wouldn't want to jump the shark, I guess we'll have to adopt a "wait-and-see" approach for now.

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Re: LIGO's "Null Results," Interesting or Not?

Unread postby StevenO » Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:18 am

So funny that they need $250M to prove that their mathematics is nonsense....while everybody can measure gravitional waves from their fingertips ;)
It is called 'inertia'. Push a piece of matter and all the stars in the universe pull back....Ernst Mach explained it about a 115 years ago, just like other people explained the Electric Universe at that time :D :| :shock: :( sigh.....
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Re: LIGO's "Null Results," Interesting or Not?

Unread postby rduke » Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:21 pm

I take interest in all of their failures...But my favorite ones are those that prove our point while confusing them.
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Re: LIGO's "Null Results," Interesting or Not?

Unread postby StevenO » Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:33 pm

Some more food for thought. Up to to the reader to decide what he would believe...forces exerted by all stars or 'invisible quantum vacuum particles' ? ;)

Or would that finally be the same thing...? :?

INERTIA THEORY

Magic Roundabout- Paul Davies On The Meaning Of Mach's Principle

Fill a bucket with water, grab it by the handle and whirl it in an arc above your head. If you do it right, you will stay dry. A mysterious force seems to glue the water into the upside down bucket. Scientists are still unsure about where this force comes from.

Newton believed that inertia is an innate property of matter manifesting itself whenever matter accelerates (this includes rotation) relative to absolute space. You could think of the space in the vicinity of the accelerating body as somehow reacting to its motion to produce inertial forces. Newton never explained how, but took it to be a law of nature.

Newton's arch rival, Gottfried Leibniz, rejected this. Space, being empty, provides no reference against which a body can be said to accelerate. How can something move with respect to nothingness? We can judge motion, claimed Leibniz, only relative to other material bodies. Take the Earth's rotation. We observe the daily progression of the sun and stars across the sky. Our ancestors believed it was the heavens that turned, not the Earth. But suppose there were no sun and stars? Suppose Earth were alone in infinite space? Would it then make any sense to say it was rotating?

The debate raged on. Newton's hypothesis of absolute space predominated, but champions of the alternative "relative" view fought back, first in the guise of the Irish philosopher Bishop George Berkeley, then Austrian physicist-philosopher Ernst Mach - he of the Mach numbers. Mach, whose ideas greatly influenced Einstein when formulating his theory of relativity at the start of the century, insisted that acceleration can be defined only relative to the distant stars, a statement that came to be dignified with the name of "Mach's principle".

Mach's principle faced a thorny problem. Acceleration produces inertial forces. How can the distant stars be responsible for those? Could it really be that the child riding the roundabout is being tugged at by far-flung galaxies?

Einstein and others sought a mechanism to explain how a rotating body might experience a centrifugal force as a result of some sort of interaction with all the distant matter in the universe. A clue came from the theory of gravitation: after all, centrifugal force is sometimes even called artificial gravity.

Viewed from the roundabout, it is the rest of the universe that is rotating. We know that when electric charges circulate around a loop the resulting electric current produces a magnetic field. Could it be that the apparent rotation of the universe produces a gravitational version of a magnetic force that plucks at the clinging child? To test the idea, Einstein considered a small body at rest inside a rotating shell of material in otherwise empty space. Using his theory of relativity, he calculated what would happen. It turns out that the body should indeed feel a tiny gravito-magnetic force.

Further evidence in favour of Mach's principle comes from cosmology. If rotational motion is purely relative, then it is clearly nonsensical to talk about the rotation of the universe as a whole, for with respect to what would it rotate? In Newton's theory, it is entirely possible for the entire cosmos to spin about some axis. Given that almost all astronomical systems are observed to rotate to some extent, we might expect, if Newton is right, to observe a universal rotation too.

Astronomers find no evidence for a systematic rotation of the universe. Their observations imply that the universe cannot have turned by even one degree since the big bang. If rotation is absolute, the absence of a universal rotation seems to be a very special and contrived state of affairs, but if as Mach claimed it is relative, then the observations are explained.

All this looks promising, but other features of Einstein's theory of relativity are decidedly anti-Machian, and in spite of occasional claims that Einstein's theory incorporates Mach's principle in a subtle manner, the jury has remained out for decades. Now three American physicists have published a completely new idea that goes part way to restoring Newton's view of absolute space.

Leibniz and Mach proceeded from the assumption that space is simply emptiness, so it cannot provide "landmarks" against which to gauge motion. However, physicists have discovered that what might appear to be a vacuum is in fact far from empty in the ordinary sense of the word. It is teeming with invisible activity. According to the predictions of quantum physics, even a perfect vacuum plays host to myriad short-lived (or virtual) subatomic particles. These ghostly entities appear spontaneously and exist only fleetingly before fading away again. Experiment confirms that this invisible sea of virtual particles is no mere theorist's fiction: it leaves measurable traces.

Bernhard Haisch of the Lockheed company in Palo Alto, and collaborators Harold Puthoff and Alfonso Rueda, have appealed to this evanescent "vacuum stuff" that pervades all of space to give an ingenious account of the origin of inertial forces. Their theory is based on calculations performed in the mid-1970s by William Unruh of the University of British Columbia and, independently, by myself.

The key result of that early investigation is the prediction that an accelerating observer would perceive an enveloping bath of heat radiation. The heat arises because, in the reference frame of the observer, the quantum "vacuum frolic" appears distorted by the motion. As a result, the virtual photons collectively conspire to mimic the effect of real photons, with a spectrum of energy precisely the same as that produced by a bath of radiant heat.

For all realistic accelerations the temperature of the heat bath is tiny, and the effect has been of interest largely for its curiosity value. However, the link between acceleration and space - in its modern quantum guise - rings Newtonian bells. Could it be that inertia stems not from some obscure gravitational effect of the cosmos, but as a consequence of the quantum vacuum in the vicinity of the accelerating body?

This is the essence of the new theory. To support it, Haisch and co have calculated the effect of the quantum vacuum on an accelerating body consisting of electronically charged particles bound together, and found it takes the form of a force that opposes the acceleration. The strength cannot be extracted from the calculation, but the authors surmise it is precisely the electron's inertial force. This is, in turn, determined by the body's mass. Thus the mass of an object is attributed to the way it senses the invisible quantum sea that surrounds it.

Mach maintained that reality must be vested only in those things we can actually detect. It was a line of reasoning which, as late as the turn of the century, led him to deny the existence of atoms. Similarly, he rejected acceleration relative to invisible space. But if space really contains a nebulous sea of ephemeral quantum particles, perhaps Mach was making the same mistake as he did with the atomic theory.

By extending our senses through technology we can expose otherwise invisible entities, and find new physical mechanisms. Quantum technology confirms that space is not mere emptiness. Its shadowy contents may provide a way to explain the very concrete force of inertia. So next time you whirl a bucket of water above your head, reflect on the fact that it may be kept aloft by the most insubstantial stuff known to mankind - the quantum vacuum. © Reserved

Professor Paul Davies is a theoretical physicist at the University of Adelaide.

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Re: LIGO's "Null Results," Interesting or Not?

Unread postby MGmirkin » Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:53 pm

An interesting update article from an occasional Universe Today author (on his personal site/blog):

(Gravitational Wave Theory Takes Another Kick in the Teeth)
http://www.astroengine.com/?p=565

Ian O'Neill wrote:I find myself getting a little uncomfortable when discussing laser interferometers in the search for gravitational waves. On the one hand, the physicists involved are doing some cutting-edge science to search for one of the most observationally difficult things to find; and if they do find a gravitational wave signature it will provide the direct evidence for one of Einstein’s critical general relativity predictions. On the other hand, a huge amount of money has been ploughed into the LIGO project, and despite all the optimistic predictions, it has still generated few results. Unfortunately, the latter is persisting in a new publication from the LIGO scientists.

Using data from three years ago, observational results were combined from the US LIGO detectors and the German GEO600. Looking at a month-period from February to March 2005, the analysis is not good news; no gravitational waves were found during this international effort (combining the US and German detectors would have seriously increased the sensitivity of the results, so this is very bad). The team even go as far to say “No candidate gravitational wave signals have been identified.” Oh dear.


In the article her refers to this paper submission:

(First joint search for gravitational-wave bursts in LIGO and GEO600 data)
http://arxiv.org/abs/0807.2834

We present the results of the first joint search for gravitational-wave bursts by the LIGO and GEO600 detectors. We search for bursts with characteristic central frequencies in the band 768 to 2048 Hz in the data acquired between the 22nd of February and the 23rd of March, 2005 (fourth LSC Science Run - S4). We discuss the inclusion of the GEO600 data in the Waveburst-CorrPower pipeline that first searches for coincident excess power events without taking into account differences in the antenna responses or strain sensitivities of the various detectors. We compare the performance of this pipeline to that of the coherent Waveburst pipeline based on the maximum likelihood statistic. This likelihood statistic is derived from a coherent sum of the detector data streams that takes into account the antenna patterns and sensitivities of the different detectors in the network. We find that the coherentWaveburst pipeline is sensitive to signals of amplitude 30 - 50% smaller than the Waveburst-CorrPower pipeline. We perform a search for gravitational-wave bursts using both pipelines and find no detection candidates in the S4 data set when all four instruments were operating stably.


Again, it seems there was a NULL result. Interesting that the article references this paper, which talks about S4, when I've already referenced a newsletter from elsewhere talking about a yearlong NULL result from S5 (which is, I assume, a later result than S4)... Ohh, wait, I see the combined the S4 data from LIGO with data from another GW observatory elsewhere to refine the sensitivity. Still no candidate signals.

Ian O'Neill wrote:As pointed out by the Physics arXiv Blog, this may just have been bad luck. Perhaps there were no black hole collisions, supernovae or spinning lumpy neutron stars that month? Possibly. It seems more likely that the instrumentation isn’t sensitive enough or something isn’t quite right with the theory. These two options would be terrible news for the LIGO team and other laser interferometer groups around the world.


But, the LIGO interferometer is supposed to be powerful enough to detect gravitational waves from objects like neutron stars, black hole collisions, etc. If it wasn't before, the NSF funding to upgrade it should make it so. Unless there's an overall flaw in the design or the science they're investigating.

Anyway, seems there's mounting evidence for NULL results. Not much mounting evidence for ANY gravitational waves. "Oh dear," indeed!

Again, with NSF dumping more funding into the project, we'd better start seeing some results, or this will have been a collossal waste of time and money (except perhaps it they finally lay GWs, and with them a large part of the standard model, to rest). The question is whether they will then sweep it under the rug and soldier on, or actually do a top-to-bottom rethink of processes?

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Re: LIGO's "Null Results," Interesting or Not?

Unread postby junglelord » Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:35 pm

Wilbert Smith claimed success with inertia and permanent magnets and gravity changes...
I'm just saying.
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Re: LIGO's "Null Results," Interesting or Not?

Unread postby junglelord » Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:08 am

Magnetic Flux Scalar Wave Detector by Dave Thompson may actually be observing gravity waves.
http://www.16pi2.com/magnetic_scalar_waves.htm
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Re: LIGO's "Null Results," Interesting or Not?

Unread postby Solar » Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:47 am

junglelord wrote:Magnetic Flux Scalar Wave Detector by Dave Thompson may actually be observing gravity waves.
http://www.16pi2.com/magnetic_scalar_waves.htm

That is pretty interesting. Although it's confusing because of the use of the term "gravity waves" in relation to "...recording magnetic flux waves (aka gravitational waves)."

The interpretation/perspective and results appear to require "gravity" to be electromagnetic. It is also interesting in that LIGO, which is looking for "gravity waves" via "length contraction"(?) with an interferometer - and the lack of results, so far, indicate that this is a serious misinterpretation.

If no gravitational wave occurred, both arms will have remained identical in length. So the two beams reach the light sensor at the same exact moment. But if a gravitational wave hit, one arm would shrink, producing a difference in the arrival times of the two racing light signals. (The shorter arm’s light beam will have spent a mere .0000000000000000000000001 fewer seconds in transit, taking the term “photo finish” to a whole new level.) This difference means the wavelengths of the two returning light waves are now out of sync. The photodetector registers this interference (thus, interferometer) and alerts the scientists of a positive reading. - Waiting for Gravity at LIGO

I think that it speaks well for EU theory, and cosmology as a whole, that "magnetic flux waves" (as opposed to "gravity waves") is what has been detected via Thompson's work here:

I have been watching solar x-ray data and comparing it to gamma ray burst (GRB) data for several years. Not all GRBs can be detected by our satellites, but more often than not, the strong spikes in the solar x-ray data appear hours or days before GRBs arrive. This has proved to be a dilemma for NASA scientists, because the arrival of gravity waves in advance of gamma ray bursts suggest that Einstein's General Relativity theory is not entirely correct. Even worse (for Standard Model physicists), the arrival of gravity waves before the gamma ray photons implies the existence of Aether. There is no other reasonable alternative theory.

Delay via propagation through the aetheric medium I presume? The implications for seeming piezoelectric-like conductive sensitivity, via an electromagnetic plasma continuum, of other celestial bodies (earth's earthquakes for example) becomes beautifully interesting in light of this. Not to mention the aetheric (space as distributed charge) implications. I think I get it now. At least a bit further than before at least. Do correct me if I'm wrong.

You know, the idea that if the universe is electric then why not look for "magnetic flux waves" from distant celestial events is so logical that the elegant simplicity eluded me for a moment. Am I looking at this from the proper perspective here?

Here is Dave Thompson's rather inexpensive Magnetic Scalar Wave Sensor. And the results page as has been provided. Someone help me out here. Is this as astounding as I think it looks?
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Re: LIGO's "Null Results," Interesting or Not?

Unread postby substance » Sun Aug 24, 2008 2:52 pm

This Dave Thompson`s study is interesting, but I`m not sure if he means gravity or gravitational waves.
Anyway, imagine if LIGO and company actually do find gravitational waves. How much simpler would that make our lives! We won`t have to fight literally countless armies of ignorant astronomers and cosmologists to prove our view of the Universe. :D Most importantly in my case, I won`t have to dedicate my life to something that if not proven correct soon, will bring me only disrespect by the mainstream scientific community, no research funds etc. :o
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Re: LIGO's "Null Results," Interesting or Not?

Unread postby StevenO » Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:19 pm

Solar wrote:Here is Dave Thompson's rather inexpensive Magnetic Scalar Wave Sensor. And the results page as has been provided. Someone help me out here. Is this as astounding as I think it looks?

Maybe I'm a dumbhead, but could someone please explain what a Magnetic "Scalar" Wave looks like?
To me a scalar value is something that has size but no direction and a wave is something that continuously changes size and/or direction.

So is it like a "rectified" magnetic field or something??? Or a modulated magnetic monopole????
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Re: LIGO's "Null Results," Interesting or Not?

Unread postby bdw000 » Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:25 pm

StevenO wrote:
Solar wrote:Here is Dave Thompson's rather inexpensive Magnetic Scalar Wave Sensor. And the results page as has been provided. Someone help me out here. Is this as astounding as I think it looks?

Maybe I'm a dumbhead, but could someone please explain what a Magnetic "Scalar" Wave looks like?
To me a scalar value is something that has size but no direction and a wave is something that continuously changes size and/or direction.

So is it like a "rectified" magnetic field or something??? Or a modulated magnetic monopole????


I have no idea what this guy means by "scalar wave," but an idea I have seen in the past (Thomas Bearden is one who uses this idea: is he a "fringe" scientist, or a conspiracy nut? He may well be. I don't trust him.) called scalar waves the intersection of two EM waves. For instance, place two radio towers close enough, the area where their waves intersect would be called a "scalar wave." In this context it may be a misnomer, since the scalar "wave" is not going to travel anywhere: it is stationary, while the two "real" waves that create it are moving outward from a source.
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Re: LIGO's "Null Results," Interesting or Not?

Unread postby saul » Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:13 am

The so-called "null result" is not really that.. rather an upper limit has been established.

And what is that upper limit? What does it imply? I don't know, sorry :)
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Re: LIGO's "Null Results," Interesting or Not?

Unread postby Solar » Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:35 pm

StevenO wrote:Maybe I'm a dumbhead, but could someone please explain what a Magnetic "Scalar" Wave looks like?
To me a scalar value is something that has size but no direction and a wave is something that continuously changes size and/or direction.

So is it like a "rectified" magnetic field or something??? Or a modulated magnetic monopole????


Well I doubt that you're a "dumbhead" but I also don't understand why the "scalar" concept seems illusive to many. It is like 'vector potential'.

Research it here: Scalar

Scalar potential: A potential function in which the variable is a *scalar quantity. The potential functions of gravitation described by "Newton's law of gravitation and of *electrostatics are scalar potentials. In the case of a *magnetic field the potential function is a vector is a vector quantity and is therefore called a vector potential.

Scalar quantity: A quantity in which direction is either not applicable (as in temperature) or not specified (as in speed). Compare vector. - Oxford Dictionary of Physics


What I seem to see in Thompson's work here is:

-if we say that the universe is electric
-and we know that electric currents are accompanied by electromagnetic fields
-then those electromagnetic fields would form a "continuum": the earths electromagnetic field resides *inside* the sun's, which then resides within the combined electromagnetic field of our "local cluster" of stars; which reside within the electromagnetic field of an even larger "star cluster" until we get out to include the Milky Way galaxy. Which must then relate to other galaxies and "galaxy clusters" in like manner.

That one could then detect the electromagnetic "ripple" stemming from a supernova in another part of the galaxy would be confirmation of that would it not?

Therefore, verifying the electromagnetic "continuum" residing both as fact and as "potential" to be so acted upon or 'disturbed' by electromagnetic "waves".

Any help/corrections greatly appreciated.
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Re: LIGO's "Null Results," Interesting or Not?

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:24 pm

Solar wrote:
-if we say that the universe is electric
-and we know that electric currents are accompanied by electromagnetic fields
-then those electromagnetic fields would form a "continuum": the earths electromagnetic field resides *inside* the sun's, which then resides within the combined electromagnetic field of our "local cluster" of stars; which reside within the electromagnetic field of an even larger "star cluster" until we get out to include the Milky Way galaxy. Which must then relate to other galaxies and "galaxy clusters" in like manner.

That's pretty much how I see things. :shock:
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Re: LIGO's "Null Results," Interesting or Not?

Unread postby redeye » Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:57 pm

Solar wrote:
Quote:
-if we say that the universe is electric
-and we know that electric currents are accompanied by electromagnetic fields
-then those electromagnetic fields would form a "continuum": the earths electromagnetic field resides *inside* the sun's, which then resides within the combined electromagnetic field of our "local cluster" of stars; which reside within the electromagnetic field of an even larger "star cluster" until we get out to include the Milky Way galaxy. Which must then relate to other galaxies and "galaxy clusters" in like manner.

That's pretty much how I see things. :shock:


I would agree. The Earth as anode to the Sun's cathode, which is the anode to the cathode at the centre of our galaxy.
So would the question of whether or not the Universe is infinite basically come down to whether or not there can be a limit to charge?
This made a lot more sense in my head.

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