- Astronomy & Space Science
- Astronomical instruments
- LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory)
LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory)
Fritschel, Peter K. Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:February 2017
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- LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory), published June 2014:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Operating principles
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A physics research facility developed to detect cosmic gravitational waves and to measure these waves for scientific research. It consists of two installations in the continental United States, located in the states of Washington and Louisiana, which are operated in unison as a single observatory. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), LIGO was originally designed and constructed by a team of scientists from the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and by industrial contractors. Construction of the facilities was completed in 1999, and since then two generations of detectors have been installed and operated in LIGO. The first generation of detectors operated from 2001 to 2010, though no detections of gravitational waves were made. The second generation, known as Advanced LIGO, began operating in 2015, and made the first direct detection of gravitational waves in September 2015. LIGO is the leading member in a developing global network of gravitational-wave observatories.
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