LIGO India is a planned advanced gravitational-wave observatory to be located in India as part of the worldwide network. The project has been named as IndiGO or the Indian Initiative in Gravitational-wave Observations.
LIGO operates three gravitational-wave (GW) detectors:
- Two are at Hanford in the state of Washington
- One is at Livingston in Louisiana
LIGO-India project aims to move one Advanced LIGO detector from Hanford to India. The project would have see collaboration between the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) Laboratory (operated by Caltech and MIT) and three Institutes in India – the Raja Ramanna Center for Advanced Technology (Indore), the Institute for Plasma Research (Ahmedabad), and the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (Pune).
Recently, Maharashtra Government has allocated 40.68 hectare land to Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) to build LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) India Project at Dudhala village in Hingoli district.
Significance of Ligo India Project:
- Information extracted by these transmitted waves will help to address unsolved questions and mysteries of physics and astronomy.
- It will help Indian scientific community to be a major player in the emerging research frontier of GW astronomy.
- The high-end engineering requirements of the project (such as the world’s largest ultra-high vacuum facility) will provide unprecedented opportunities for Indian industries in collaboration with academic research institutions.
- Multidisciplinary nature of project would provide opportunity to bring together scientists and engineers from different fields like optics, lasers, gravitational physics, astronomy and astrophysics, cosmology, computational science, mathematics and various branches of engineering.
- The cutting edge project in India can serve as a local focus to interest and inspire students and young scientists.
What are Gravitational Waves?
- Gravitational waves are ripples in the curvature of spacetime which propagate as waves, travelling outward from the source at the speed of light.
- They transport energy as gravitational radiation and pass through matter without interacting with it.
- Gravitational waves were first predicted in 1916 by Albert Einstein on the basis of his Theory of General Relativity.
- Strongest sources of gravitational waves are among enigmatic objects in our universe like black holes, supernova, neutron stars and Big Bang.