The improved facility will help detect gravitational waves. The Advanced Laser Gravitational Wave Observatories or Advanced LIGO is used to detect gravitational waves in space.
National Science Foundation funded facilities will be used by its designers California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to search the gravitational waves.
The discovery of gravitational waves could provide key insights into phenomena such as colliding black hole and supernova.
The project will enhance LIGO’s instrument sensitivity by a factor of at least 10, which could increase the number of astrophysical candidates for gravitational wave signals a thousand fold.
NSF Director France A. Córdova said, “Advanced LIGO represents a critically important step forward in our continuing effort to understand the extraordinary mysteries of our universe, it gives scientists a highly sophisticated instrument for detecting gravitational waves, which we believe carry with them information about their dynamic origins and about the nature of gravity that cannot be obtained by conventional astronomical tools.”
Einstein proposed gravitational waves as ripples in the fabric of space and time produced by violent events in the universe.
As the gravitational waves travel to Earth, they carry information about occurrences such as collision of black holes and supernova.
Gravitational waves are never directly detected but scientists have measured their influence on binary pulsar system.
Denise Caldwell, NSF division director for physics said, “This is an exciting time that is quite similar to when the astronomy community introduced radio astronomy, in much the same way that radio astronomy added another dimension to how scientists could observe celestial phenomena, Advanced LIGO also offers yet another, different perspective. We have found that each time we open a new window of observation, we are able to make discoveries that lead us to a new frontier.”