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LIGO Project: Details, research area, cost, achievements, opportunities

 

 

An advanced large-scale observatory for Cosmic Gravitational Wave Research 

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors use laser interferometry to measure the distortions of space-time between free masses to directly detect passing gravitational waves. 

Scientists, engineers, and staff at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are commissioning and operating the LIGO detectors.

LIGO is a national facility for gravitational-wave research, providing opportunities for the broader scientific community to participate in detector development, observations, and data analysis.

The LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) is the organization comprising the scientific community. This includes Caltech and MIT scientists and engineers responsible for data analysis, advanced R&D and the development of advanced subsystems for LIGO. This Collaboration will exploit the initial detector and is pursuing the development of second-generation detectors.

In this project 1200 scientists from around the world are connected, 91 of them are from India. India is giving $ 300 million in this $ 950 million project. 

The initial LIGO system comprises one three-interferometer detector system. The sites allow for expansion of the facility to a multiple-detector configuration.

Scientists at LIGO picked up some kind of ripple in the space-time fabric. While LIGO has been quite regularly detecting such ripples, this year, one such ripple was discovered by a group apart from LIGO, which is incredible. This effect was detected as a result of two colliding black holes, billions of light years away, showing that space-time is indeed a continuum, as proposed by Einstein's general relativity.


 

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