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LIGO-India to Enhance Precision in Locating Gravitational Wave Sources

LIGO-India to Enhance Precision and Accuracy of Gravitational Wave Observations

Image Credit: The Indian Express

According to experts, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO-India) will greatly improve scientists' ability to identify the sources of gravitational waves - disturbances in the fabric of space-time - and provide insights into fundamental aspects of the universe.

The Union Cabinet has recently given approval for the construction of LIGO-India, a project that will cost 26 billion rupees and will be located in the Hingoli district of Maharashtra.

The observatory is expected to commence operations by the end of the decade and its location relative to the other two LIGO detectors in the US, as well as other gravitational wave detectors around the world, will increase the accuracy and precision of gravitational wave detection and observation.

The main goal of LIGO and other gravitational wave detectors globally is to accurately locate the source of gravitational waves. By doing so, it will help point telescopes towards the corresponding patch of the sky, searching for possible electromagnetic signals. To achieve precise localization, the technique of triangulation is used.

The method involves calculating the relative delays in the arrival times of GW signals in multiple detectors, which changes for different positions in the sky, giving an idea of where the signal originated. This principle is similar to the GPS navigation system.

The distance between detectors plays a crucial role in precise localization. LIGO-India's inclusion will create two more baselines, improving sky localization significantly. For practical localization, all detectors should have similar sensitivities. LIGO-India will have the same sensitivity as the other LIGO detectors.

The sensitivity of the detector depends on the frequency of incoming waves, as noise can impact the performance of LIGO detectors. The ultimate objective is to have a global network of gravitational wave detectors.

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