Indian Lego Program and Nobel Prize in Physics 2017 for Lego (Important) (Download PDF)

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2017 Nobel Prize for Physics paper (discover paper) has 39 Indian authors and scientists. The contributions came from nine institutions- CMI Chennai, ICTS-TIFR Bengaluru, IISER-Kolkata, IISER-Trivandrum, IIT Gandhinagar, IPR Gandhinagar, IUCAA Pune, RRCAT Indore, and TIFR Mumbai, primarily funded through individual and institutional grants by Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Science & Technology and Ministry of Human Resource Development AE, DST and MHRD, who are co-authors of this discovery paper.

Image of Gravitational Wave Observatory

Image of Gravitational Wave Observatory

Image of Gravitational Wave Observatory

List of Nobel Prize Winners

The 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics was conferred to three scientists- Rainer Weiss, Barry C Barish, & Kip S Thorne under the LIGO Project for their discovery of gravitational waves, 100 years after Einstein’s General Relativity predicted it. Gravitational waves carry information about dramatic origins and nature of gravity opening a new window to Astronomy.

Indian Connection in Lego Discovery

  • Late Professor CV Vishveshvara of RRI, Bengaluru (DST AI) and Professor SV Dhurandhar of IUCAA, Pune and some other Indian scientists made seminal contributions to this field- leading to LIGO Detector.

  • Group led by Bala Iyer (currently at ICTS-TIFR) at the Raman Research Institute in collaboration with scientists in France pioneered the mathematical calculations used to model Gravitational Wave signals from orbiting black holes and neutron stars.

  • Theoretical work that combined black holes and gravitational waves was published by C. V. Vishveshwara in 1970- contributions are prominently cited in the discovery paper.

Indians Lego Program

  • India took leadership in this field with LIGO-India mega-science project granted ‘in principle’ approval by the Union Cabinet on Feb 17 2016.

  • LIGO-India brings strong international cooperation in gravitational-wave astronomy to probe the universe.

  • Future of Gravitational wave astronomy and astrophysics lies with the planned global array of GW detectors, including the LIGO-India observatory.

  • Inclusion of LIGO-India greatly improves the angular resolution in the location of the gravitational-wave source by the LIGO global network- for example- the discovery event observed by the two advanced LIGO detectors in the US, with a hypothetical LIGO-India in operation, there would have been 100 times improvement in the angular resolution.

  • LIGO-India proposes the construction and operation of an Advanced LIGO Detector in collaboration with the LIGO Laboratories, USA with Indian node becoming part of three node global Advanced LIGO detector network by 2024 and operate it for 10 years.

  • LIGO-India has challenge of constructing the very large vacuum infrastructure that would hold a space of 10 million litres to accommodate the entire 4 km scale laser interferometer in ultrahigh vacuum environment at nano-torrs.

  • Indian team is responsible for installation and commissioning the complex instrument and attaining the ultimate design sensitivity.

Lego-India Project Execution

The LIGO-India project is jointly executed by:

  • The Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA)

  • Pune of the University Grants commission, and DAE organisations

  • Institute for Plasma Research (IPR), Gandhinagar

  • Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), Indore

  • Directorate of Construction & Estate Management (DCSEM) of DAE.

A LIGO-India Apex committee, together with the LIGO-India Project Management Board (LI-PMB) and LIGO-India Scientific Management Board (LI-SMB) constituted in August 2016 are overseeing the project execution. LIGO-India is on track for commencing operations by 2024.

Lego-India Project Funding

LIGO-India is being funded by

  • Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)

  • Department of Science and Technology (DST).

- Published/Last Modified on: October 23, 2017

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