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Gravitational waves discovery: India’s imprint in landmark LIGO project

By admin, February 12, 2016

Indian groups contributed significantly to the historic search for gravitational waves. The key tasks they carried out included the following:

* Understanding the response of the LIGO detector to the signals and terrestrial influences

* Bounding the orbital eccentricity and estimating the mass and spin of the final black hole

* Estimating energy and power radiated during merger

* Confirming that observed signal agrees with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity

* Searching for a possible electromagnetic counterpart using optical telescopes.

Some of these jobs were carried out in high performance computing facilities at IUCAA, Pune and ICTS, Bengaluru.

The group, led by Bala Iyer at the Raman Research Institute in collaboration with scientists in France, had pioneered the mathematical calculations used to model gravitational wave signals from orbiting black holes and neutron stars.

Another group led by Sanjeev Dhurandhar at IUCAA initiated and carried out foundation work on developing data analysis techniques to detect these weak gravitational wave signals buried in the detector noise by looking for the best match between the calculated waveforms and the detector signal.

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