Advanced LIGO

Since 2015, the Advanced LIGO and Virgo experiments have established gravitational waves as an entirely new observational probe of the Universe. Gravitational-wave detection is made possible by cavity-enhanced laser interferometry, which now achieves sub-attometer position sensing (10-18 m) over multi-kilometer baselines. LIGO operates two 4 km-long detectors located in Hanford, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana, with a third under construction near Aundha Nagnath, India.

The Richardson group actively contributes to the commissioning of the LIGO detectors, as well as develops technologies to realize future experiments with still greater sensitivities.

Learn More

To learn more about gravitational-waves, their detection, and the LIGO experiment, explore the following resources:

LIGO detector sites in Hanford, Washington (top) and Livingston, Louisiana (bottom). Image credits: LIGO/Caltech/MIT

First observation of two coalescing black holes, GW150914. Image credit: LIGO/Caltech/MIT

View inside the LIGO Livingston control room during lock acquisition.

View inside the main interferometer hall, looking back towards the beamsplitter.