Introduction to LIGO & Gravitational Waves
Many things on Earth are constantly causing very small relative length changes in the arms of LIGO. These every-present terrestrial signals are regarded as noise (and would sound very much like static when the signal is sent through a speaker). In science, noise is defined to be anything that is measured that is not what was intended to be measured. Here, LIGO is trying to measure the change in length of its arms due to a gravitational wave and not the incessant little motions of LIGO’s components caused by the environment. To help minimize local effects on the detector, LIGO has made many enhancements to the basic interferometer design (besides requiring both detectors to detect the same signal within the light travel time between detectors).
» Next: LIGO's Interferometer
Newton, Einstein and Gravitational Waves
"Ripples on Space-time"
Sources of Gravitational Waves:
Detecting Gravitational Waves
Using Multiple Detectors
→ An Interferometer
Advanced LIGO flyer
The Potential of Gravitational Waves