LIGO: The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  17 Apr 1992:
Vol. 256, Issue 5055, pp. 325-333
DOI: 10.1126/science.256.5055.325


The goal of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Project is to detect and study astrophysical gravitational waves and use data from them for research in physics and astronomy. LIGO will support studies concerning the nature and nonlinear dynamics of gravity, the structures of black holes, and the equation of state of nuclear matter. It will also measure the masses, birth rates, collisions, and distributions of black holes and neutron stars in the universe and probe the cores of supernovae and the very early universe. The technology for LIGO has been developed during the past 20 years. Construction will begin in 1992, and under the present schedule, LIGO's gravitational-wave searches will begin in 1998.