This episode looks at Project LIGO, an attempt to test Einstein’s theory of gravity waves. Project LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) uses two perpendicular laser tubes four kilometers long to test for distortions in space caused by gravity waves. The guests are Brian Lantz, senior research scientist at Stanford who has a Ph.D. From M.I.T. for his work in laser interferometers, and Riccardo Bassiri, who has a Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow, Scotland for his work in the advanced optics used in laser interferometers and who is visiting Stanford as part of a collaboration between 6 Scottish universities, Stanford, Caltech and several industrial partners. The episode also includes video from the National Science Foundation, which sponsors Prpject LIGO.
Divided into 3 shorter segments
Segment 1 A discussion of Project LIGO, including a video from the National Science Foundation, which supports the project.
Segment 2 Live demonstration of some of the equipment used in Project LIGO, including noise dampeners.
Segment 3 A discussion of the spinoff benefits of new technologies developed by Project LIGO, as well as the importance of understanding the universe better.