Advanced LIGO

Oh I completely forgot! The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) consists of three large laser-systems which can detect changes in lengths much smaller than an atomic nucleus. The original LIGO was not expected to see anything, rather it is more of a proof-of-principle. It showed everyone that this experiment is viable.

A series of upgrades are nearing completion, leading to the next generation: advanced LIGO. The sensitivity is greatly improved, and after completion, it is hoped to detect at least one gravitational-wave event per day! If everything goes on schedule (remarkably, it has been so far), first results should start pouring in sometime 2014 — in only one year! Soon after the Higgs discovery at the LHC and the first data release of the Planck satellite, an entirely new window should be opened onto the universe.


Advanced LIGO at MIT