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Keep Out Experiment In Progress — LIGO Gravitational Waves | by jurvetson
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Keep Out Experiment In Progress — LIGO Gravitational Waves

A fetching invitation indeed... A "Keep Out Experiment" from the Psych Dept.?


This big truck, festooned with cables and sensors drove itself out on robo-drive. So I had to go inside to ask what was going on.


It contains an insanely precise interferometer to measure changes in the local gravity. Instead of a detecting weak gravitational attraction of an object like a pendulum to the mountain, they measure the warp of space-time itself, as sensors in the interferometer move closer or apart, ever so slightly.


The noticeable change comes from the “anomaly” of the very large hole nearby.


Not sure what they plan to do with the truck next. Excuse me ma'am. We've come to check the gravity.


The three researchers with workstations tethered to the truck also mentioned that the gravity research next door (in End Station II) is part of the LIGO/LISA programs. They are trying to sense the gravity waves from the movement of distant massive bodies, like rotating binary stars, black holes and pulsars.


The LIGO experiments have to detect mirror movements as small as 1/1000 the diameter of a proton (good info on this and gravity waves).


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Taken on August 14, 2008