India to be the second country to house LIGO project

By: | Updated: April 5, 2016 9:07 AM

A CENTURY is what it took for scientists to prove predictions of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity on gravitational waves and now India is all set to become the centre of his theory’s research.

albert einstein albert einstein theoryIndia has been associated with the project via INDIGO (Indian Initiative in Gravitational-wave Observations), a consortium of 63 physicists since 2009. (In Reuters Photo: Albert Einstein)

A CENTURY is what it took for scientists to prove predictions of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity on gravitational waves and now India is all set to become the centre of his theory’s research. On Friday, the country—after five years of discussion—signed an MoU with the US to start the development of the world’s third Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), becoming the second country to house a LIGO after the US. A LIGO is much like a telescope, but a blind one, which detects gravitational waves—ripples in the curvature of space time—which possibly can explain the origins of early universe.

India has been associated with the project via INDIGO (Indian Initiative in Gravitational-wave Observations), a consortium of 63 physicists since 2009. The move, which is expected to cost upwards of Rs 12,000 crore and is to be funded by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST)—with DAE acting as the lead agency—will catapult India into a major destination for scientific research. Though science is just one aspect of it, building of an observatory will also give the country access to technology. In fact, technology transfers from LIGO are taking place in the US and Europe, and have already helped in creating systems like the LIGO prestabilized laser scheme to improve flaw detection in carbon aircraft composite structures.

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