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The Search for Gravitational Waves: New Documentary About LIGO Premieres Soon

What happens when stars or black holes collide? Scientists have theorized that the energy released would disturb the very fabric of the space-time continuum, much like ripples in a pond. These ripples are called gravitational waves, and while proving the existence of these waves has been difficult, their detection would open a brand new window on our understanding of the Universe.

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatories (LIGO) have been searching for these elusive waves. A new documentary about LIGO will be available soon here on Universe Today, and it documents the science and people behind the unprecedented astronomical tool designed to catch sight of violent cosmic events trillions of miles from our planet.

Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory  Hanford installation - each arm extends for four kilometres. Credit: Caltech.

Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory Hanford installation – each arm extends for four kilometres. Credit: Caltech.


The new documentary titled, “LIGO, A Passion for Understanding,” follows scientists working with LIGO. It is produced by filmmaker Kai Staats, and this will actually be the first installment to a multi-video series, in fact. Watch the trailer, above.

“A Passion for Understanding” brings to life one of the most important astronomical tools of our time while telling the human story of creativity, passion, and drive to understand the very fabric of the Universe in which we live.
Operated by teams from the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, LIGO’s observatories use 4 km laser beams to hunt for gravitational waves. The LIGO scientific collaboration consists of hundreds of scientists from around the world.

LIGO’s enhanced run ended in 2010, but the Advanced LIGO project featuring newly upgraded instruments is set to begin its run in late 2015. Advanced LIGO will probe deeper into the universe in search of gravitational waves.

Find out more about the documentary on the film’s Facebook page, at the LIGO collaboration website, and on Space.com.

LIGO, A Passion for Understanding – Trailer from Kai Staats on Vimeo.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Ignoramus April 15, 2014, 6:44 PM

    Did they not get pipped to the post by BICEP2?

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