Union Cabinet has approved the Laser 
Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO, project to build an advanced gravitational-wave detector.

● Components will be made  in India- improving the technological  expertise of Indian scientists and engineers.

 ● The project will have multidisciplinary benefits on India Astrophysics research, high  end technological development. 

 Current LIGO facilities :

● LIGO-India will be the third observatory of its kind. 

● Currently, LIGO consists of two widely separated installations within the United States --one in Hanford Washington  and the other in Livingston, Louisiana. 
●The instruments at these observatories are so sensitive that they can easily get influenced by events like earthquakes, landslides, or even the movement of trucks, and produce a false reading. 

●That is why  multiple observations are needed to revalidate the signals. 

● Also, multiple detectors can help tap all possible sources of gravitational waves, 
 and to improve the quality  and accuracy of information. 

LIGO SISTER Facilities 

Virgo:  Located in Italy, Virgo is gravitational wave interferometer 
with arms 3 km long (LIGO's are 4 km long). It is funded by the European Gravitational Observatory (EGO), a collaboration of the 
Italian and French governments.

●  GEO600: It is a 0.6 km (600 m) interferometer located near Hannover, Germany, funded by both the German and British governments.

●  KAGRA: Japan is currently building a 3 km interferometer inside of the Kamioka mine.


● LIGO - India is a planned advanced gravitational _ wave Observatory to be located in India as part 
of the worldwide network. 

●   Genesis :The project was given “in principle” approval in 2016 to be completed by 2030.
●  Location: Hingoli district in Maharashtra.

●  Funding: Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

●  Capacity : It is a collaborative project between a consortium of Indian research institutions and the LIGO Laboratory in 
USA. The US will provide key components for the lab.

Institutions and departments involved : 

Department of Atomic Energy.  

 Department of Science and Technology. 

U.S. National Science Foundation .

■Directorate of Construction, Services & 
Estate Management, Mumbai.

■ Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and 
Astrophysics, Pune.

■ Institute For Plasma Research, Gandhinagar.

■ Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced 
Technology, Indore.

What is LIGO and how it works?

● LIGO is a tool to  detect  gravitational waves 
with the use of laser interferometers.

●LIGO detectors consist of two 4 _ km_ long vacuum chambers, arranged at right angles to each other, with mirrors at the end. 

●The experiment works by releasing light Ray's simultaneously in both chambers.

● Normally, the  light should return at the same time in both chambers.  

●However, if a gravitational wave passes through, one chamber gets elongated while the  other gets squeezed, resulting in a phase difference in the returning light rays. 

●Detecting this phase difference confirms the presence of a gravitational  wave.

What are gravitational waves?

● Gravitational waves are  'ripples' in space_ time caused by some of the most violent and energetic processes in the Universe. 

●Gravitational waves are   invisible. 

● They travel at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second).

■ Gravitational waves squeeze and stretch 
anything in their path as they pass by.

● Albert Einstein predicted the existence of 
gravitational waves in 1916 in his general theory of relativity.

● One of the main conclusions of general theory of relativity is that objects of mass warp the very fabric of spacetime.

● The greater the mass of an object the more extreme the warping of space it causes, so a star warps spacetime more than a planet, and a black hole warp it more than a star.

● Most powerful gravitational waves are created when objects move at very high speeds. Some examples of events that could 
cause a gravitational wave are:

■ When a star explodes asymmetrically (called a supernova).

■ When two big stars orbit each other.

■ When two black holes orbit each other and merge.

■ Black hole-neutron star merger

About Spacetime

●In our everyday lives we think of three-dimensional space and time as completely separate things. 

● But Einstein’s theory showed that the three spacial dimensions plus time are actually just part of the same thing: the four dimensions of spacetime.

●Not only are space and time part of the same thing, but they are both warped by mass or energy, causing a curved spacetime.


Detection of gravitational waves help understand black holes, neutron 
stars, supernovae, even the Big Bang. Extracting the information carried by the waves addresses the questions in both physics and astronomy.


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