(Astro)Physics

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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.

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Advanced LIGO at MIT