MIT to help build LIGO gravitational observatory in India


The Government of India has given in-principle approval for setting up Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) in India at a cost of Rs 105 cr (Rs 1.05 bln).

“The LIGO-India project will establish a state-of-the-art gravitational wave observatory on the Indian soil in collaboration with the LIGO Laboratory in the U.S. run by Caltech and Massachusetts Institute of Technology,” it said.

“The project will bring unprecedented opportunities for our scientists and engineers to dig deeper into the realm of gravitational wave and take global leadership in this new astronomical frontier.”

LIGO-India will also bring considerable opportunities in cutting edge technology for the Indian industry which will be engaged in the construction of eight kilometre long beam tube at ultra-high vacuum on a levelled terrain, it added.

The LIGO-India project will be jointly co-ordinated and executed by three premier Indian lead institutions — the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune, the Institute for Plasma Research (IPR), Gandhinagar and the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), Indore.

Some of the Universities in the Country will also participate in the project.

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory helps in the detection of cosmic gravitational waves and the measurement of these waves for scientific research. It consists of two widely separated installations within the United States, operated in unison as a single observatory.

“Gravitational waves offer a remarkable opportunity to see the universe from a new perspective, providing access to astrophysical insights that are available in no other way,” according to the MIT.