LIGO Document G1400023-v2

The Search for Gravitational Waves

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Gravitational waves are ripples in the geometry of space and time which propagate at the speed of light, predicted by Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. A worldwide network of ground-based gravitational-wave detectors holds the prospect of the first direction of these waves in the near future. I will briefly summarize the results of the initial operation of the LIGO (USA) and Virgo (Europe) detectors, which set limits on the strength of gravitational waves from several sources. The upcoming "advanced detector era" will see a tenfold increase in the detectors' sensitivity as well as the planned addition of sites in India (LIGO-India) and Japan (KAGRA). I will describe the prospects for gravitational wave astronomy in this era, with specific reference to the example of periodic gravitational waves from rotating neutron stars in low-mass X-ray binaries.

Seminar given 2014 January 13 at ICTS Bangalore

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  • slides (whelan20140113_anim.pdf, 5.5 MB)
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