Advanced Ligo gravitational wave hunt is green lit
One of the great experiments of our age is ready to begin. Scientists have inaugurated the Advanced Ligo facilities in the US. This pair of widely separated laboratories will be hunting for gravitational waves. These ripples in space-time are predicted to result from extreme events, such as the merger of black holes and the explosive demise of giant stars.
Confirmation of the waves' existence should open up a new paradigm in astronomy. It is one that would no longer depend on traditional light telescopes to observe and understand phenomena on the sky.
"Advanced Ligo represents a critically important step forward in our continuing effort to understand the extraordinary mysteries of our Universe," said France Córdova, the director of the US National Science Foundation.
"It gives scientists a highly sophisticated instrument for detecting gravitational waves, which we believe carry with them information about their dynamic origins and about the nature of gravity that cannot be obtained by conventional astronomical tools."