A boost for science, a wider window to the universe

Source– The post is based on the article “A boost for science, a wider window to the universe” published in “The Hindu” on 5th May 2023.

Syllabus: GS3- Awareness in the field of space

News- Indian government recently announced $320 million investment in LIGO-India.

What are some facts about LIGO?

LIGO is the world’s largest gravitational wave observatory, a scientific collaboration. It consists of two facilities in the United States, one in the Pacific Northwest at Hanford, Washington, and another near the Gulf of Mexico in Livingston, Louisiana.

LIGO uses lasers to detect ripples in space-time through a method called interferometry. As gravitational waves pass by, they cause space itself to stretch and squeeze. Scientists can measure through changes in the beams of the LIGO lasers.

In 2015, physicists observed the gravitational waves emanating from two merging black holes, 1.3 million light years from earth. It was accomplished by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, known as LIGO

The data LIGO collects have far-reaching implications in many areas of physics. LIGO has provided new clues about merging black holes, the existence of neutron stars and the origin of the universe. It has opened an entirely new way of observing the universe.

What are some facts about LIGO-India?

LIGO-India is a collaboration between the LIGO Laboratory operated by Caltech and MIT. It is funded by the National Science Foundation and India’s RRCAT, the Institute for Plasma Research (IPR), the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, and the Department of Atomic Energy.

LIGO-India will create new opportunities in Maharashtra’s Hingoli district. Projects such as LIGO-India can create jobs across the technical workforce.

They open new avenues for scientific talent and inspire the next generation of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) leaders.

The construction of LIGO-India is a major milestone for gravitational wave science and for the universal progress of science. The observatory will help to answer some of the most fundamental questions about the cosmos.

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