LIGO - Listening to black holes

Thursday, January 18, 2024 at 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Building NW22, courtyard
185 ALBANY ST, Cambridge, MA 02139

LIGO consists of two 2.5 miles interferometers (similar to what is used to read bar codes at the supermarket, only bigger) which can detect the signal from merging black holes and neutron stars. After traveling for billions of years these signals reach Earth and move the LIGO mirrors by less then 1/10,000ths of the diameter of a proton. The detection of these signals allows LIGO to test the fundamental laws of physics and probe the history of the universe.

The MIT facility is used to test and prototype the full scale LIGO equipment before they are installed in the observatories.

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Tags

LIGO, black holes, neutron stars

Department
MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research
Contact Email

richkent@mit.edu, bblane@mit.edu

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