PLI to search for gravitational waves

World science, 02 September 2019

A new seismic device developed by CERN and JINR is now being tested at the Advanced Virgo detector

It started with a relatively simple goal: create a prototype for a new kind of device to monitor the motion of underground structures at CERN. But the project – the result of a collaboration between CERN and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, Russia – quickly evolved. The prototype turned into several full-blown devices that can potentially serve as early warning systems for earthquakes and can be used to monitor other seismic vibrations. What’s more, the devices, called precision laser inclinometers, can be used at CERN and beyond. The researchers behind the project are now testing one device at the Advanced Virgo detector, which recently detected gravitational waves – tiny ripples in the fabric of space-time that were predicted by Einstein a century ago. If all goes to plan, this device could help gravitational-wave hunters minimize the noise that seismic events have on the waves’ signal.

Aerial view of the Advanced Virgo detector, where a precision laser interferometer used at CERN was installed and is being tested. Photo © Virgo Collaboration

Source: CERN