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LIGO Project | LIGO, Livingston, LA

LIGO consists of two ground-based Michelson interferometers with Fabry-Perot arm cavities, operated in unison with the aim of directly detecting gravitational waves (GWs). These detectors are comprised of vacuum chambers and clean rooms that house individual suspended optical components with connecting beamtubes. Fused silica optics detectors are extremely sensitive to optical scattering and absorption losses induced by both particulate and hydrocarbon contamination. EXCEL performed engineering, and system implementation and commissioning activities. The project objective was to reduce the low-level contaminants which can result in laser damage to optics during the operation the interferometers, and/or the unacceptable reduction of overall detector sensitivity.

The LIGO Laboratory, comprising LIGO Hanford, LIGO Livingston, Caltech, and MIT announced that LIGO’s three longest-standing and greatest champions have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics: Barry Barish and Kip Thorne of Caltech and Rainer Weiss of MIT. This Nobel Prize acknowledges 45 years of effort: from conception, through design, planning, testing and prototyping, through decades of research and engineering, invention and innovation, advances in computing, lasers, and optics, and especially the championing and advocating of the three remarkable men.

  • Nobel Prize in Physics