IndIGO, the Indian Initiative in Gravitational-wave Observations, is an initiative to set up advanced experimental facilities, with appropriate theoretical and computational support, for a multi-institutional Indian national project in gravitational-wave astronomy. Since 2009, the IndIGO Consortium has been involved in constructing the Indian road-map for Gravitational Wave Astronomy and a phased strategy towards Indian participation in realizing the crucial gravitational-wave observatory in the Asia-Pacific region. The current major IndIGO plans on gravitational-wave astronomy relate to the LIGO-India project. LIGO-India is a proposed advanced gravitational-wave detector to be located in India, whose concept proposal is now under active consideration by the science funding agencies in India and USA.


A satellite workshop on Gravitational Wave Astronomy will be held on 19 March 2014, one day before the Astronomical Society of India (ASI) Meeting (20-22 March 2014) at IISER-Mohali. The workshop is partially supported by the local organizers of ASI Meeting and the Max the Planck Partner Group on Gravitational Waves at IISER-Thiruvananthapuram.
LIGO Laboratory at California Institute of Technology hosts a 10-week summer student research program every year, called the LIGO SURF Program. Considering the imminent possibility of the LIGO-India project, LIGO has graciously agreed to host a few talented and motivated undergraduate students from Indian institutions, pre-selected by IndIGO, as part of this program.

GEO600(external link) is a 600m long interferometric GW detector located near Hannover, Germany and run by the Albert Einstein Institute in Hannover(external link).  As the other large interferometer sites are currently installing the next generation of instruments, GEO600 is the only place where experience can be gained on an operating, interferometric GW detector.  The GEO600 group invites applications in the post-doctoral or graduate researcher level.  The main lines of research currently pursued are increasing the laser power, integrating a squeezed light source, novel control schemes, and searching for unexplained sources of noise.  Independent of what the work turns out to be, because of the large similarity between all GW interferometers, experience gained at GEO600 will prove to be invaluable to those looking toward commissioning the next generation of instruments.

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The existence of gravitational waves(external link) is one of the most intriguing predictions of the General Theory of Relativity(external link) proposed by Albert Einstein(external link) in 1915. Gravitational waves are distortions in the spacetime geometry that propagate with the speed of light, analogous to ripples on the surface of a pond. Although indirect evidence for the existence of gravitational waves is obtained from the observation of binary pulsars(external link), a direct detection of gravitational waves is yet to be done. A world-wide network of gravitational-wave detectors has started an exciting search for these ripples in spacetime. These observatories will establish the filed of gravitational-wave astronomy(external link), opening a new window on to the Universe.

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