SLAC Colloquium Series

SLAC Colloquium Series


Colloquium Detail

Event Poster

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LIGO and the Search for Gravitational Waves

Date: 10/16/2006

Norna A Robertson
Stanford University

Gravitational waves, predicted to exist by Einstein's General Theory of Relativity but as yet undetected, are expected to be emitted during violent astrophysical events such as supernovae, black hole interactions and the coalescence of compact binary systems. Their detection and study should lead to a new branch of astronomy. However the experimental challenge is formidable: ground-based detection relies on sensing displacements of order 10^-18 m over a frequency range of tens of hertz to a few kHz. There is currently a large international effort to commission and operate long baseline interferometric detectors including those that comprise LIGO - the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory - in the USA. In this talk I will give an introduction to the topic of gravitational wave detection and in particular review the status of the LIGO project which is currently taking data at its design sensitivity. I will also look to the future to consider planned improvements in sensitivity for such detectors, focusing on Advanced LIGO, the proposed upgrade to the LIGO project

Last update: October 03, 2013