What is LIGO India?

Science and Technology is an important part of the UPSC Syllabus with many questions coming directly from this segment. This article will talk about LIGO India, an initiative for experimentation in gravitational waves.

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What is LIGO India?

  1. LIGO stands for Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. It is a large scale Physics experiment carried out to detect Gravitational waves.
  2. LIGO-India is a planned Gravitational-Wave Observatory that will be located in India as part of the worldwide network.
  3. This project will be a collaboration between Ligo-USA, India, Germany, Australia and U.K. LIGO project operates 3 gravitation wave detectors.
  4. 2 of them are located at Hanford in Washington, USA and the other at Livingston in Louisiana, USA. Currently, all 3 detectors are undergoing up-gradation and the plan is to shift one of the gravitational wave detectors from Hanford to India.

What are Gravitational waves?

  • Gravitational waves are distortions or ‘ripples’ in the fabric of space-time caused by some of the most violent and energetic processes in the Universe.
  • They transport energy as gravitational radiation and pass through matter without interacting with it.
  • Strongest sources of gravitational waves are among enigmatic objects in our universe like black holes, supernovas, neutron stars and Big Bang
  • Gravitational waves were first predicted in 1916 by Albert Einstein on the basis of his Theory of General Relativity.

Read more on Gravitational Waves on the given link.

Which are the Lead Institutions in the LIGO-India Project?

It is a collaboration between LIGO Laboratory and 3 other institutions which are given below.

  1. Institute of Plasma Research (IPR), Gandhinagar.
  2. Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune.
  3. Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), Indore.

The Indian Ligo Observatory project will be connected to Ligo observatories in USA and Virgo in Italy.

At Which Place LIGO India Observatory will be set up?

India’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) will be set up at Aundha Nagnath, Hingoli District in Maharashtra.

At present, LIGO has three detectors: one in Livingston, USA; the other two (in the same vacuum tubes) at the Hanford site in Richland,USA. Each consists of two light storage arms which are 2 to 4 kilometres (1.2 to 2.5 mi) in length.

The LIGO India project is expected to join the international network in the first science run in 2025.

Candidates can go through some relevant articles linked below for assistance in their exam preparation-

Ligo India – Significance

  • Information extracted by Ligo India transmitted waves will help to address unsolved questions and mysteries of physics and astronomy.
  • It will help the Indian scientific community to be a major player in the emerging research frontier of Gravitational Wave 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.
  • The multidisciplinary nature of the Ligo India project would provide an 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.

Who are the Scientists that received the Nobel Prize (2017) in Physics for their work on LIGO Detectors and Observation of Gravitational Waves?

3 Scientists received Nobel Prize in Physics in the year 2017, for their work on LIGO Detector and observation of gravitational waves.

  1. Rainer Weiss – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  2. Kip Thorne – California Institute of Technology
  3. Barry C Barish – California Institute of Technology.

Aspirants can check out the list of Nobel Prize Winners 2020 on the linked page.

Frequently Asked Questions about LIGO India

What is LIGO India project?

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) – India is a planned advanced gravitational-wave observatory to be located in India as part of the worldwide network, whose concept proposal is now under active consideration in India and the USA.

How does LIGO work?

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) searches for distortions in space-time that would indicate the passage of gravitational waves. The laser beams reflect back and forth off of mirrors, coming back to converge at the crux of the arms, canceling each other out

Aspirants can find the complete UPSC Syllabus through the linked article. More exam-related preparation materials will be found through the links given below.

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