India to get its own gravitational wave observatory

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Days after an international team of scientists, including several from India, formally announced that they have detected gravitational waves from deep space, the government has given it's "in-principle approval" for establishing a state-of-the-art Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) project in india which will bring opportunities for Scientist, Researchers and engineers of the country to dig deeper into the realm of gravitation wave and unveil some of greatest mysteries of the universe.

This will be world’s third Laser Interferometer Gravitational Observatory, similar to the two detectors in the US. Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh are among the states shortlisted for the experiment. If everything goes well than by 2022, India will be one of the countries, including the US, Italy and Japan, to play a major role in understanding Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

Currently Whole world is racing to dig deep in to gravitation wave to understand the mysteries of Universe and Black Holes. The US has two observatories known as the LIGO, while Italy has the third called the Virgo Interferometer and Japan is constructing another one.

Nodal agencies for LIGO-India project 

►LIGO-India project is piloted by the Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Science and Technology (DST). It will open new windows for advanced scientific research in the country. Current estimates suggest the project would cost at least Rs. 1,200 crore. 

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

►The RRCAT, which has expertise in lasers and IPR which has expertise in the high vacuum and cryogenic systems, will be the institutions who will be responsible for execution of the project.

►Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), the key science stakeholder of LIGO-India, will be responsible for the science teams, human resources development, data acquisition and scientific data computation. 

Significance of LIGO-India Project

♦The project will provide unprecedented opportunities for Indian scientists and engineers to dig deeper into the realm of gravitational wave and take global leadership in this new astronomical frontier.

♦ It will also bring considerable opportunities in cutting edge technology in India’s scientific industry as domestic players will engaged in the construction of 8 kilometre long beam tube at ultra-high vacuum of observatory on a levelled terrain.

How it all beagn ?

The  proposal for setting up of  gravitational wave observatory in India was made in 2011 under the agreement signed between US LIGO lab and US National Science Foundation (NSF) and later a formal proposal in this regard was submitted to the Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Science and Technology (DST) by by the Indian Initiative in Gravitational-wave Observations (IndiGO) Consortium (formed in 2009). Under the proposal, US would provide technology required for setting up of the projects while India would take care of funding, construction and operation.

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