India Approves Construction of LIGO
- Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is an international network of laboratories that detect gravitational waves.
- LIGOs are designed to measure changes in distance that are several orders of magnitude smaller than the length of the proton.
- Such high precision Instruments are needed because of the extremely low strength of gravitational waves that make their detection very difficult.
- The LIGO in the US first detected gravitational waves in 2015, which led to a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2017.
- Besides the United States (in Hanford and Livingston), such gravitational wave observatories are currently operational in Italy (Virgo) and Japan (Kagra).
- The government approved the construction of the LIGO project after seven years of in-principle approval.
- It will be built by the Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Science and Technology with the U.S. National Science Foundation and several national and international research institutions.
- The Indian LIGO would have two perpendicularly placed 4-km-long vacuum chambers that constitute the most sensitive interferometers in the world.
- The LIGO-India project would have several spin-off benefits to Indian science, apart from making India an integral part of one of the most prestigious international scientific experiments.
- The observatory is expected to enable dramatic returns in astronomy and astrophysics, as well as leapfrog Indian science and technology in cutting-edge frontiers of great national relevance.
- It is expected to begin scientific runs in 2030.
Content contributed by- Jeffrey V