Work for LIGO begins in Hingoli

Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory work has started in Hingoli

This observatory is meant to detect cosmic gravitational waves and to develop gravitational-wave observations as an astronomical tool

Representative image. Credit: iStock

The work for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in Hingoli district of Marathwada region has begun, a top scientist said.

This LIGO is meant to detect cosmic gravitational waves and to develop gravitational-wave observations as an astronomical tool.

An essential element of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, Gravitational waves are found among enigmatic objects in our universe: black holes, neutron stars, supernovae, even the Big Bang.

Extracting the information carried by the waves to address questions in both physics and astronomy depends on our ability to identify where the individual sources are in the sky. This requires a network of detectors spread widely over the Earth.

In India, the project is jointly funded by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Department of Science and Technology (DST).

An MoU to set up the LIGO-India project was signed between the scientists from the US’s National Science Foundation, DAE and DST in April 2016.

The LIGO-India project will be jointly coordinated and executed by three premier Indian lead institutions viz., 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.

“India is part of the biggest research in the world that is working in the field of black holes. The construction of the LIGO is coming up in Hingoli district. Land has been acquired for this purpose and work has already started,” said Somak Raychaudhury, director of Pune-based IUCAA.

According to him, LIGO is a planned advanced gravitational-wave observatory and would go a long way in research.

The Rs 3,000-crore mega project is in Aundha Nagnath area of Hingoli and is expected to bring unprecedented opportunities to researchers and scientists to dig deeper into the Universe.