News & Views
Global Gravitational Network Expands
Mar 19 2020
As the construction of the world's third Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in India continues, researchers from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Hyderabad and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Pune have been training at the University of Strathclyde, UK in a variety of thin film manufacturing and mechanical characterisation techniques. LIGO instruments exploit the physical properties of light and of space itself to discover and understand the origins of gravitational waves. There are already two LIGO observatories in Livingston and Hanford in the USA. These instruments were the first to observe gravitational waves, associated with the distant collision of black holes and the subject of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics.
Once the third detector is completed in India in 2024, researchers will be able to use all three LIGO instruments in a network to improve the information extracted from the wave and source location.
A custom system for characterising the performance of gravitational wave detector mirrors built at Strathclyde has now been shipped to India, following the departure of the Indian researchers from the UK. These mirrors guide the lasers back and forth along the arms and into the detectors that are essential for measuring small changes in detector arm length.
Professor Stuart Reid from Strathclyde’s Biomedical Engineering department, said: “It has been a privilege to host scientists from India and to see the safe arrival of instrumentation to TIFR Hyderabad. This was only possible through the enthusiastic involvement of young scientists here in Strathclyde, particularly Dr Paul Hill and PhD student, Gavin Wallace.
“We look forward to seeing the international gravitational wave detector network expand over the coming years when LIGO India comes online. This exciting endeavour aids in the global impact of Indian research and their contributions towards future observatory upgrades.”
Further details from www.strath.ac.uk
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