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The Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) project

Whitcomb, Stanley E. (1993) The Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) project. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 10 (Supple). S185. ISSN 0264-9381.

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The LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) project is designed to open a new field of science by detecting and studying the gravitational waves from astrophysical sources, including neutron stars, black holes, and possibly, supernovae and the big bang. LIGO will consist of two scientific facilities, each incorporating an L-shaped vacuum system with 4-kilometers arms to house sensitive interferometers. A detector system consists of three interferometers, two at one site and one at the other. Each interferometer measures the motion of a set of test masses which are suspended from seismically isolated supports and free to move in response to gravitational waves. Correlations among the three interferometers will be used to eliminate local noise. LIGO is designed to support a sequence of detector systems of increasing sensitivity over the next twenty years or longer. In its initial configuration, it will have just one detector system. However, its design permits expansion to support three simultaneous detector systems. The project received funding in 1992 to begin design and construction. Sites for the two facilities (Hanford, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana) have been selected. Under the present schedule, the facilities will be completed by 1997 and initial observations will begin in 1998. Ultimately, the LIGO will be operated in coordination with interferometers in Europe and elsewhere, to form a worldwide gravitational wave observatory network.

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Additional Information:© 1993 IOP Publishing Ltd. This work is supported in part by NSF grant PHY-9210038.
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MSC: 83C35 Gravitational waves UNSPECIFIED
MSC: 85A40 Cosmology UNSPECIFIED
Classification Code:PACS: 04.80.Nn; 97.60.Bw; 97.60.Lf; 97.60.Jd; 98.80.-k
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120308-113333923
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Official Citation:The Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) project S E Whitcomb 1993 Class. Quantum Grav. 10 S185
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:29652
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:09 Mar 2012 17:52
Last Modified:25 Feb 2014 23:13

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