PM Modi Lauds Indian Scientists For Role In Discovery Of Gravitational Waves

After decades of search for these ripples in space-time, which Albert Einstein predicted exactly 100 years ago, scientists working with the gigantic optical instruments in the U.S. called LIGO [Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory], have detected signals of gravitational waves emanating from two merging black holes 1.3 billion light years away arriving at their instruments on the Earth. That is to say, this cataclysmic event of two black holes merging occurred 1.3 b yrs ago, when multi-cellular organisms were just beginning to form on the Earth, the gravitational waves from which are being received now on the Earth.

The collision of two black holes holes - a tremendously powerful event detected for the first time ever by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO - is seen in this still image from a computer simulation released in Washington February 11, 2016. Photo courtesy: Caltech/MIT/LIGO Laboratory

The collision of two black holes holes – a tremendously powerful event detected for the first time ever by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO – is seen in this still image from a computer simulation released in Washington February 11, 2016. Photo courtesy: Caltech/MIT/LIGO Laboratory

Indian scientists played a very important role in designing the algorithms that were used to analyse the signals to ensure they were actually from a gravitational wave.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Indian scientists for their role in helping to detect gravitational waves for the first time since their existence was theorised by Albert Einstein.

“Immensely proud that Indian scientists played an important role in this challenging quest,” he tweeted.

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US Scientists announced on Thursday that they had detected, heard and measured gravitational waves, a scientific triumph that is being compared to Galileo first turning a telescope to the heavens 400 years ago.

“We have detected gravitational waves. We did it,” said David Reitze, head of LIGO Laboratory, the scientific facility that found them, to applause at a crowded news briefing in DC.

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After decades of effort, they have succeeded in detecting gravitational waves from the violent merging of two black holes in deep space. The detection was hailed as a triumph for a controversial, exquisitely crafted, billion-dollar physics experiment and as confirmation of a key prediction of Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

It may inaugurate a new era of astronomy in which gravitational waves are tools for studying the most mysterious and exotic objects in the universe.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have detected gravitational waves. We did it!” declared David Reitze, the executive director of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), drawing applause from a packed audience at the National Press Club that included many of the luminaries of the physics world.

Some of the scientists gathered for the announcement had spent decades conceiving and constructing LIGO.

PM Narendra Modi Lauds Indian Scientists For Role In Discovery Of Gravitational Waves

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today expressed joy over the historic detection of gravitational waves and lauded the role of Indian scientists in the project.

“Immensely proud that Indian scientists played an important role in this challenging quest,” he tweeted.

“Historic detection of gravitational waves opens up new frontier for understanding of universe,” he said in a series of posts on the microblogging website.

In an announcement that has electrified the world of astronomy, scientists said that they have finally detected gravitational waves, the ripples in the fabric of space-time that Einstein predicted a century ago.

“Hope to move forward to make even bigger contribution with an advanced gravitational wave detector in the country,” he said.




Until now, scientists have been trying to detect these waves with the help of laser instruments, known together as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). The LIGO project operates three gravitational-wave (GW) detectors — two are in the US, and one in Italy. The LIGO work is funded by the National Science Foundation, an independent agency of the US government.

The Indian Initiative in Gravitational-Wave Observations (IndIGO), a consortium of Indian gravitational-wave physicists, was set up in 2009. It has 61 scientists from nine institutions — CMI Chennai, ICTS-TIFR Bengaluru, IISER-Kolkata, IISER-Trivandrum, IIT Gandhinagar, IPR Gandhinagar, IUCAA Pune, RRCAT Indore, and TIFR Mumbai. According to a report in The Indian Express, the discovery paper has 35 authors from these institutions. The announcement about the detection was made simultaneously at IUCAA Pune, and by scientists in Washington DC. IndIGO is the Indian partner, along with the LIGO laboratory in USA, in planning the proposed LIGO-India project.

Sanjeev Dhurandhar, one of the founder members of IUCAA, was also among the key scientists involved in the project. He led a group at IUCAA that had started work on developing techniques for detection of weak signals which would eventually lead to detection of gravitational waves.




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