Even as top particle physicists the world over recently celebrated the discovery of the Higgs Boson at Geneva’s CERN facility, Indian is geared to add a new dimension to 21ist century astrophysics by setting up a state of the art “Gravitational Wave Observatory.” (G WO), in coloboration with the United States of America as part of a Global Network.
What are Gravitational Waves?
We know that x – rays, Radio waves, Alpha – rays, Gamma – rays, Miaro – waves, Ultra – violet rays and Light- rays from different sources including the sky, all of them in language of science are known as electromagnetic waves, emitted by electric charges in motion that have several applications in day to day life, medicine, electronics and even telecommunications including television and radio networks.
Another types of waves known as “Gravitational Waves” (GWS) akin to the electromagnetic waves, have been detected from the universe. The GWs are emitted by gravitating bodies in motion such as two black holes spiraling towards each other in a binary orbit in the cosmos Gravitational Waves are found in obserbfrom extremely difficult to detect, and although they were predicted about one hundred years ago.
Till today they have not been seen in experiments, there is irrefutable indirect evidence that they do exist this evidence comes from the Noble Prize winning discovery that the compact binary orbit a pair of stars is shrinking due to the emission of gravitational waves, as predicted by General Theory of Relativity,
Gravitational waves may be the most exciting thing in astronomy right now, but there are only so many things in space that scientists can study with Earth-based gravitational wave detectors. An incredible new test has demonstrated that space-based detectors could become a reality, which could open our ears to entirely new sources of gravitational waves.
Significance of GWO the study of the Gravitational waves is the astronomy of the 21Ist century. Advance ground-based detectors will almost certainly make the first detections of gravitational waves within the next few years.
With a worldwide network of five sensitive detectors, we will be able to count on spectacular science returns; mass function for neutron stars and black holes, tight constraints on physics at nuclear densities, insight into te mechanism of short gamma – ray bursts, highly accurate measurements of the Hubble flow out to Z 0.2, tests of strong field relativity, measurements of speeds of gravitational waves, constraints on extra scalar gravitational fields, and tests of the cosmic constraints hypothesis, all of these fields can be explained in much improved way.
Further, sensitivity improvements, and them the construction o third- generation detectors like the Einstein Telescope, offer much more than this. This can be possible in LIGO- India.
LIGO- India: The Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) project operates three gravitational -wave (GW) detectors. This project aims to move one advanced LIGO detector from Hanford to India. The proposed detector will be a Michelson Interferometer with Fabry-Perot enhanced arms of 4km length and aims to detect differential changes in the arm – length as small as 10-23h2-1/2 in the frequency range between 30 to 800 hz.
The design would be identical to that of the Advanced LIGO detectors that are being commissioned in the U.S.A. there are lot of scientific benefits of LIGO- India as explained above.
Impact on Indian Science: The proposed LIGO-India project will help India scientific community to be a major player in the emerging research frontier of GW astronomy. The nature of the experiment is multidisciplinary. It will bring together scientist and engineers from different fields like optics, Lasers, Gravitational physics, astronomy and astrophysics, cosmology, computational science, Mathematics and Various branches of engineering.
Open new path of Astronomy
Gravitational Wave Observatory will provide unprecedented opportunities for Indian Industries in collaboration with academic research Institutions LIGO project has facilitated major industry academic research partnerships in U.S.A and Europe, and has produced several important technological spin offs. LIGO –India will provide similar opportunities to Indian Industry.
The experimental discovery of Gravitational Waves will open an extraordinary new window in Astronomy, which is usually called Gravitational Wave Astronomy.
A cutting edge project in India can serve as a local focus to interest and inspire students and young scientists. The LIGO – India project involves high technology instrumentation and its dramatic scale will spur interest and provide motivation to young students for choosing experimental physics and engineering physics as career options.
In future, LIGO- India project will become a gift to Indian Science.