LIGO India

LIGO India

News: Recently, Union Cabinet approved a project to build an advanced gravitational-wave detector in the Hingoli district in Maharashtra. The facility’s construction is expected to be completed by 2030.

What are Gravitational Waves?
 Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space and time that travel at the speed of light. They are created by the motion of massive objects, such as black holes or neutron stars, which generate gravitational waves when they orbit or collide with each other.
 According to Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity, any object with mass warps the space-time around it. When two massive objects orbit each other or collide, they produce ripples or waves in spacetime that propagate outward at the speed of light.
 Gravitational waves are extremely weak and difficult to detect. They were first directly detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in 2015, a century after they were predicted by Einstein’s theory.

About LIGO India:
 It will be built by Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Science and Technology with an MoU with the U.S. National Science Foundation.
 It aims to detect and study gravitational waves. LIGOs are designed to measure changes in distance that are several orders of magnitude smaller than the length of the proton.
 LIGO India would be the fifth node of this international network of gravitational wave observatories.

Significance for India
 India has been an active collaborator in a number of international science projects. These include the Large Hadron Collider experiments, and ITER, the effort to create a thermonuclear reactor that would enable controlled nuclear fusion reactions.
 India is also expected to be a partner country in setting up the next space station.
 However, India has not yet built a cutting-edge scientific facility on this scale on its own soil. LIGO,
therefore, is crucial to demonstrating India’s intent and capability to pull-off complex science projects on its own.

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