Gravitational Waves detected by VIRGO and LIGO collaborations

Feb 11, 2016 Off Comments in Experiment by


The international collaborations VIRGO and LIGO have jointly announced the first observations ever of Gravitational Waves. This breakthrough in Physics arrives exactly 100 years after the existence of Gravitational Waves was hypothesized by Albert Einstein.

Gravitational Waves (GW) are described as ripples in the space-time fabric that propagate at light speed. GW carry unique information from the core of the most violent astrophysical events and about the nature of gravity itself. They interact so weakly with ordinary matter that they pass through ordinary stars and planets almost unperturbed. Their detection poses formidable challenges to current technology capabilities. To succeed in this quest, large scale detectors up to a few km scale have been realized in the 2000’s, in particular the Virgo detector near Pisa and the two LIGO detectors in the USA.

The VIRGO team within TIFPA, which forms a common group with INFN-Padova colleagues in the VIRGO collaboration, contributes with data analysis activities, focusing on the most general searches for transient gravitational waves with LIGO and Virgo detectors. Furthermore, it contributes to the collaboration with investigations of thermal noise in optical coatings, realization of devices for the mechanical suspensions and, from 2013, it focuses on the development of a squeezed light source to be implemented as near-future upgrade of Advanced Virgo.

Further details and background information are available at LIGO website.