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Science & Tech

LIGO-India: India’s Contribution to the Advancement of Modern Astrophysics

The Union Cabinet approved the full budget for the LIGO-India mega-science project, which includes the construction, commissioning, and joint scientific operation of a cutting-edge, advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in India in collaboration with the NSF-funded LIGO Laboratory in the United States, which is run by Caltech and MIT.

LIGO-India Information

  • LIGO-India will be the fifth and potentially last link in this multinational network of gravitational wave observatories.
  • Because the equipment is so sensitive, it can readily be influenced by occurrences such as earthquakes, landslides, or even truck movement, resulting in a misleading reading.
  • To revalidate the signals, additional observatories are required.
  • India’s participation in LIGO is critical for demonstrating its intent and aptitude to carry out complicated science projects on its own.

LIGO-India’s Importance

  • LIGO-India will greatly improve worldwide capabilities in gravitational-wave astronomy and astrophysics. The initiative will provide a totally new view into our universe and opportunity to investigate the cosmos in previously unimaginable ways.
  • LIGO-India will provide possibilities for Indian youth to pursue research careers in cutting-edge areas of science and technology, ultimately aiding the expansion of India’s science sector and economy.
  • LIGO-India will lead to the development of cutting-edge technologies such as lasers, optics, vacuum, quantum metrology, and control-system technologies, all of which have significant national implications. In collaboration with industry, the project will bring together researchers in fundamental and applied sciences from national research laboratories, IITs, and IISERs to universities, as well as recruit talent from the enormous pool of Indian researchers distributed over the world.
  • The project will galvanise India’s industry by improving its capability and capacity to build and manufacture complex components with accuracy in order to meet high scientific standards, hence strengthening Indian industry’s reputation.
  • Helping India’s mega-science ventures: LIGO-India is one of India’s mega-science endeavours, which aim to lead or collaborate in very high-science goals through large-scale joint efforts that necessitate highly skilled people resources, significant fiscal capital and infrastructural investment, and close academia-industry relationships. LIGO-India is planned to build on the success of previous world-class facilities including the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) near Pune and the Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) in Ladakh.

Way ahead: Mega-Science Projects and India’s S&T Policy

  • Mega-science projects like LIGO-India instill crucial work ethic traits in the scientific community.
  • The ability to develop a targeted but sufficiently large well-knit collaborative environment that remains open to growth by bringing in wider participation is critical.
  • For policymakers to be receptive, there is a need for a culture within S&T communities to anticipate breakthroughs and appreciate new findings that frequently deviate from the current comfort zone, and for executing agencies to create robust mechanisms to assess, evaluate, and respond expeditiously to allow sufficient time to set up the enterprise.

@the end

The LIGO-India mega-science initiative represents a huge step forward in India’s contribution to the advancement of contemporary astronomy. The project will encourage Indian science and technology in academia, government laboratories, and enterprises to advance in a variety of cutting-edge technologies. It supports the concept that incorporating mega-science activities into overall S&T policy empowers and enriches the nation.

Source: https://www.ligo-india.in/about/
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