Talks, Demonstration, And Tour! LIGO Interferometery (speakers: Ms. Maggie Tse And Dr. Antonios Kontos)

Wednesday January 25, 2017 2:00 pm

LIGO Interferometery

Discover the techniques which make LIGO work with hands-on demonstrations.


Michelson Interferometer Demonstration

Ms. Maggie Tse, 2:00 – 2:30pm in NW22-258

How do you measure distances smaller than one-thousandth the diameter of a proton? Why do we care? Come find out in this hands-on interactive demo, where you will learn about Michelson interferometery, the basic principle behind how LIGO detects explosions in outer space. These explosions happen when two black holes merge and create gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of spacetime that were predicted by Einstein in 1916 and measured by LIGO in 2016. In this demo we will show you how giant lasers make this measurement possible, with real lasers included!

If you stay with us after 2:30pm, you can apply your new knowledge and operate a real suspended interferometer with Dr. Kontos in the LIGO lab!

Directions to NW22-258: Enter through the front doors of NW22, the doors on the right are for LIGO. The doors will be open for the event. Once inside, follow the signs to the second floor.


TOUR: Lock a Suspended Interferometer — please note tour limit and prerequisite below

Dr. Antonios Kontos, 2:30 – 4:00pm leaving from NW22-258


Work with LIGO scientists to lock a suspended Michelson-style interferometer using real-time automated control systems.

Please note:
6 people max for tour. Advance sign-up required starting at 1:55pm in NW22-258 immediately before Ms. Tse’s. *****Attendance of talk is required of tour participants*****.