New Delhi: A week after scientists announced the historic detection of gravitational waves, predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved a four-year-old proposal to set up a Laser Interferometer Gravitation-wave Observatory (LIGO) facility in India.
The proposal, known as LIGO-India project (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory in India), is piloted by Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Science and Technology (DST).
The LIGO-India, which will be the world's third, will be in built in collaboration with the LIGO Laboratory in the US run by Caltech and MIT. Two other LIGO facilities are located at Hanford and Livingstone in the US.
The project, aimed to establish a state-of-the-art gravitational wave observatory in India, will motivate Indian students and young scientists to explore newer frontiers of knowledge, and will add further impetus to scientific research in the country.
Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves in his general theory of relativity almost exactly 100 years ago, and scientists have been attempting to detect them for 50 years.
On February 11, 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the detection of gravitational waves by the LIGO, a pair of ground-based observatories in Hanford, Washington, and Livingston, Louisiana.
The LIGO detections opens a whole new branch of astrophysics.