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IIT Tech Fest: Soon, a state-of-the-art research centre to study gravitational waves

The observatory along with the four others in the world will reveal aspects of space unknown to mankind.

Written by Priyanka Sahoo | Mumbai |
December 17, 2016 2:44:49 am

India will soon house one of the world’s most state-of-the-art Observatory and Research Centre to study gravitational waves, said scientists speaking at the Indian Institute of Technology’s (IIT) Techfest.

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During a panel discussion at the Tech fest of the institute, scientists involved in the global experiment Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) said that the project in India will help them detect cosmic rays. LIGO is a large-scale physics experiment and observatory to detect cosmic gravitational waves and to develop gravitational-wave observations to advance astronomy.

The observatory along with the four others in the world will reveal aspects of space unknown to mankind, said Bruce Allen, managing director of Albert Einstein Institute, Hannover. Allen was one of the scientists who discovered gravitational waves last year, proving German-American scientist Albert Einstein’s century-old theory right.

The Indo-US collaborative project is said to be the most sensitive among the five observatories across the globe: two observatories in the US are fully functional and two others are not associated with LIGO.

A network of such observatories will help understand the source of gravitational waves better, said Rana Adhikari, professor of California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and one of the scientists involved in the development of LIGO- India.

“We will put to rest the mistakes of US detectors to rest while designing LIGO-India,” said Adhikari at the panel discussion.

This was the first day of the institute’s annual technology fair, which saw a dip in footfall compared to last year.

Among other attractions at the fest was ‘Full throttle’, where student-made robotic cars raced each other. Student-made robots fought each other out at an auditorium during the Robowars event.

The exhibition of robots, droids and drones was also a crowd pleaser.

While many thronged the exhibition ground to see the mind-controlled drone and the BB-8 droid, the former failed to work for a while. It resumed its functioning later.

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