Science

First LIGO lab outside U.S. may come up in Maharashtra’s Hingoli

An aerial view of the LIGO Hanford laboratory site near Hanford, Washington.

An aerial view of the LIGO Hanford laboratory site near Hanford, Washington.  

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On February 17, the Union Cabinet gave in principle approval to the proposal for research on gravitational waves

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) project that was given the in-principle approval by the Union Cabinet may come up in Maharashtra’s Hingoli district.

A senior scientist with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) said to PTI, “Aundh in Hingoli district is a preferred site for the Ligo project. We’ve begun work on it, which includes setting up committees to start the preliminary work.”

According to the official, a strip of four km on both sides of a 150-metre wide area was needed to carry out experiments. “So we would not be needing much land,” he said to PTI.

“We needed a flat site to carry out the experiments, the four km strips that would require an unhindered straight and flat site for studying the lasers. The Aundh site fits the bill,” said a senior Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) official, according to the PTI report.

When contacted, Dr. Tarun Souradeep, official spokesperson for the project said Aundh is one of the likely choices for a site. “Recommendations have been made and the site has been reviewed by LIGO labs. Our team has visited the site but we are yet to make a final announcement,” he said.

LIGO-India will bring considerable opportunities for Indian scientists in instrumentation and development also, as they along with industry members will be engaged in the construction of the eight km-long beam tube at ultra-high vacuum on a levelled terrain.

(with inputs from PTI)

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 7:30:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/First-LIGO-lab-outside-U.S.-may-come-up-in-Maharashtra%E2%80%99s-Hingoli/article14628567.ece

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