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Visit the LIGO-Virgo Youtube channel for documentaries, explainers, talks, and more! Also check out videos and audios below.

Videos, audios

LIGO Primer

Watch the videos in this section to learn about what gravitational waves are, how they will be detected, and where they come from.

Gravitational waves explained using stick figures -- a fun, informative explanation by MinutePhysics.

LIGO - What is a Gravitational Wave? from Kai Staats on Vimeo.

LIGO - How do we detect Gravitational Waves? from Kai Staats on Vimeo.

LIGO - What types of Gravitational Waves will LIGO detect? from Kai Staats on Vimeo.

LIGO - How does an Interferometer work? from Kai Staats on Vimeo.

Videos, documentaries about LIGO

"A New Ear on the Universe," a 50-min podcast produced by BBC World Services Radio show, "The Documentary," was aired on September 26, 2015. Check the show's website for airing times, audio clips from the show, and more. The show's podcast.

"Science stories -- Collaboration," a 5-min video produced by The Royal Society of the UK, giving a brief overview of history of GW science from bar detectors to laser interferometers, and talking about LSC's role in an international effort to detect gravitational waves.

"LIGO Detection," a 20-min documentary describing the efforts to validate the first detection of gravitational waves.

LIGO Detection from Kai Staats on Vimeo.

"LIGO Generations," a 25-min documentary showing how scientists bridge the gap between the special language of astrophysics and bright young students.

LIGO Generations from Kai Staats on Vimeo.

"LIGO: A Passion for Understanding" -- Watch a 22-minute documentary about LIGO exploring the science behind it, by filmmaker Kai Staats. The documentary premiered on on April 15, 2014.

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

Einstein's Messengers -- Watch an award-winning 20-minute documentary on LIGO from the National Science Foundation.

Video credit: National Science Foundation

Watch "Astronomy's New Messengers," a video from the 2010 World Science Festival featuring physicists Kip Thorne and Rainer Weiss, astrophysicist Andrea Lommen, string theorist Brian Greene, science writer and author Marcia Bartusiak, discussing how LIGO may open a new window on observing the cosmos.

Gravity: Making Waves -- Learn more about gravitational waves through this essay and an eight-minute video (or watch it below!) from the American Museum of Natural History. The site also includes a visual tour of a LIGO observatory and an interactive demonstration of how the interferometer operates.

Video credit: American Museum of Natural History

100 Hours of Astronomy -- Watch Michael Landry report from the LIGO Hanford Observatory control room during the online celebration of 100 Hours of Astronomy. Recorded on April 3, 2009.

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Video credit: ESO/100 Hours of Astronomy/IYA2009 -- Learn more about black holes and the scientists that study them. Scientists from around the world are interviewed by a young musician.

LIGO on Future Talk -- Mysteries of the Universe. Watch Brian Lantz and Riccardo Bassiri (Stanford University) explaining how LIGO works and discussing its technology transfers.

Video credit: Future Talk


Gravitational Wave Sounds -- Listen to the gravitational radiation from binary black holes.  MIT associate professor Scott Hughes has converted the amplitude and frequency information from gravitational wave simulations and turned them into audio files, available in .wav and mp3 formats.

Sounds of Spacetime -- This site contains a detailed exploration of gravitational-wave "sounds."


Turn your phone into a "gravitational wave machine" with ringtones made from gravitational wave "sounds."

The "chirp" tones of the two LIGO detections are available for download. Formats are suitable as ringtones for either iPhone or Android devices. (Instructions). Credit: LIGO.

September 2015 Detection: m4r file (for iPhone) | mp3 file (for Android)

December 2015 Detection: m4r file (for iPhone) | mp3 file (for Android)

More ringtones:

Credit: Gravitational wave sounds by LIGO, ringtones by Milde Science Communication, Germany.


Click on the thumbnails below to see a gallery of photographs for each subject heading.

LIGO Hanford Observatory

LIGO Livingston Observatory

Astrophysical Sources



People at work

Seismic Isolation

Vacuum Envelope

Images are provided by the LIGO Laboratory unless otherwise noted. LIGO Lab images may be used freely in the public domain with an acknowledgement to "LIGO Lab/Caltech/MIT."

LIGO from above

Aerial view of the LIGO Hanford Observatory.
Credit: Caltech/MIT/LIGO Laboratory.

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