Talk on gravitational wave detection using LIGO by Prof. Rana Adhikari (Caltech)

Date and Time:  

24th August 2016 (Wednesday), 05:00 PM


LH 111 (Lecture Hall Complex), ground floor, IIT Delhi


LIGO: A Laser Strainmeter for the Universe


After 50 years, the LIGO project has detected the gravitational radiation from the merger of astrophysical black holes. With an improvement of 1-2 orders of magnitude in the noise, these devices would be able to sense the fluctuations in space-time from all black holes within the observable universe. There are two chief obstacles in this path: quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics: The quantum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field of empty space limit the ability to measure optical phase. The Fluctuation-Dissipation theorem dictates the amount of thermal fluctuation of the measurement device. Recent discoveries in the study of thin-film amorphous oxides indicates that one of these fundamental physics limits may be possible to overcome. Combined with the new Quantum Rao-Cramer bound for opto-mechanics, the potential of the new LIGO-India detector could reach back to the time of the first stars.

About the Speaker:

Prof. Rana Adhikari is currently working as a Professor of Physics at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) USA. He has been working towards the detection of gravitational waves for nearly 20 years, in which their LIGO team finally succeeded last year. He is a well know expert in this area and is now an active pioneer towards various activities related to LIGO-India, a new gravitational wave detector, which has already received in-principle approval by Government of India and is in the process of being set up in India. More details about Prof. Rana and his research interests can be found in the following link:

A news article detailing the conversation with Prof. Rana about their quest for gravitational waves before their detection (2013) can be found in the following link:

Note: During this talk, Prof. Rana Adhikari would also discuss the galore possibilities for students in higher education, PhD and Postdoc in LIGO related areas such as optics, material science, control systems, quantum physics, Astronomy, gravitational waves etc. and in multidisciplinary areas. Students are encouraged to attend this talk.