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22 April 2023: LIGO INDIA PROJECT

Context:

  • After seven years of in-principle permission, the government has authorized the construction of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) project.
  • The U.S. National Science Foundation, the Department of Atomic Energy, the Department of Science and Technology, as well as a number of domestic and foreign research organizations, will construct it.

LIGO-India Project: What is it?

About:

  • The study tries to find cosmic gravitational waves.
  • The most sensitive interferometers in the world are two 4-km long vacuum chambers that are perpendicularly positioned and make up the Indian LIGO.
  • It is anticipated that scientific runs will start around 2030.
  • It would be situated about 450 kilometers east of Mumbai in the Maharashtra district of Hingoli.

Object and Importance:

  • It will be the fifth node in the intended network and involve India in a renowned global scientific study.
    India will become a cutting-edge hub for the cosmos’ and quantum’s technological and scientific frontiers.

Advantages of LIGO-India

  • In addition to including India as a key component of one of the most prominent international scientific investigations, the LIGO-India project would offer a number of positive spin-off effects for Indian science.
  • The observatory is anticipated to enable notable advances in astronomy and astrophysics as well as help Indian research and technology advance in fields with significant national implications.

Gravitational waves: What are they?

  • In Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, which describes how gravity operates, gravitational waves were originally proposed in 1916.
  • The ripples in spacetime that spread outward are caused by the motion of large celestial objects, like as black holes or neutron stars.

Describe LIGO.
About:

  • The LIGO network of laboratories detects gravity waves on a global scale.
    Several orders of magnitude smaller distance changes than the proton’s length can be measured by LIGOs. Due to gravity waves’ extremely low power and difficulty in detection, such high precision instruments are required.
  • First Gravitational Wave Detection: In 2015, the US’s LIGO made the first gravitational wave discovery, which earned it a 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics.
  • 1.3 billion years ago, two black holes that were about 29 and 36 times as massive as the Sun combined to form gravitational waves.
  • Some of the strongest gravitational waves come from the merger of black holes.
  • at addition to the United States (at Livingston and Hanford), other countries with functioning gravitational wave observatories include Italy (Virgo) and Japan (Kagra).
  • Four equivalent detectors must be functioning simultaneously around the world in order to detect gravitational waves.

Working Mechanism:

  • LIGO is made up of two 4-km-long vacuum chambers that are positioned perpendicular to one another and have mirrors at the ends.
  • Light rays should return at the same time when they are simultaneously released in both chambers.
  • However, when a gravitational wave enters, one chamber lengthens while the other contracts, resulting in a phase discrepancy in the light waves that emerge.
  • The discovery of this phase difference establishes the gravitational wave’s existence.
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