India-LIGO: Is IndiGO a go?

Jammu, India –

The Indian Prime Minister  Manmohan Singh announced Monday that India intends to host the third LIGO detector. The Prime Minister made the announcement as he inaugurated the 101st Indian Science Congress at the University of Jammu on February 3rd, 2014.

“India will partner the international scientific community in the establishment of some of the world’s major R&D projects. In the Gravitational Wave experiment, India intends to host the third detector”, he said.  The Congress was focused on the roll of science and technology in India’s development, and near the end of his lengthy address Prime Minister Singh made statements about India’s participation in three international scientific collaborations in theoretical and observational physics and astrophysics.

In addition to announcing his country’s investment in LIGO,  the Prime Minister also announced that “a Neutrino-based Observatory is proposed to be established in Tamil Nadu at a cost of about Rs 1450 crores” and that India was joining CERN as an associate member.

Advanced LIGO calls for three interferometers located at two sites.   The two sites are needed to confirm a detection, and to protect the whole experiment from catastrophic natural disaster in one part of the globe.  Discussions between research groups in the US, Australia and India led to a formal proposal that they would partner to build one observatory in Australia, until Australia diplomatically stepped back from their commitment citing a commitment to balancing the budget. India is now taking a step closer to “host”  the third detector.

The Congress is a large, week-long meeting to showcase recent developments in  science & technology in India and the world that invites Noble Laureates, Senior Scientists, Teachers, Young Scholars and Students  from 66 countries including Canada to attend. Jammu is in the province of Jammu and Kashmir,  27 KM drive from the border with Pakistan, 166 KM drive from Lahore.

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