Research

LIGO will receive a quantum update and will find gravitational waves every day.

Scheduled updated updateLIGO’s laser-interferometric gravitational-wave observatory will use ingenious quantum methods, this has become clear recently. However, that's interesting. A $ 35 million upgrade will allow scientists to catch an average of one gravitational wave each day. The current LIGO track record of 11 detected gravitational waves can be surpassed in one week.

How many gravitational waves did LIGO find?

Since 2024, improvedThe detector, known as Advanced LIGO Plus, will try to use the well-known quantum rule, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, to improve the ability of a machine to detect pulsations in spacetime. The Heisenberg uncertainty principle states that it is impossible to accurately measure certain properties, such as the position and momentum of an object, at the same time.

In LIGO, this is superimposed on the principle thatscientists track gravitational waves. At each of the two observatory detectors located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Wash., Laser light bounces back and forth along two 4-kilometer G.-shaped sleeves. To determine whether a gravitational wave passes, the meeting point of the sleeves, and the rays recombine.

Because of quantum mechanics, this light fluctuatesin two ways: in phase, which means the time of the light wave; and in amplitude, which determines the intensity of light. This change confuses LIGO measurements, making it harder to detect the subtle signals of a gravitational wave. Therefore, in the next round of LIGO, which will begin in April, scientists will for the first time use quantum “squeezed” light, in which the light phase oscillations decrease. As a result, LIGO will better capture higher-frequency waves — ripples that will have a higher frequency if converted to sound waves.

"This is wonderful, but not without its flaws,"says physicist Michael Zucker from Caltech. Fluctuations in the power of light increase, making it difficult to measure low-frequency gravitational waves. "You are not exempt from the principle of uncertainty Heisenberg."

But in Advanced LIGO Plus, scientists will usea system that uses the best of the two systems, squeezing the light in one direction to reduce the frequency of ripples, and the other for higher frequency signals, in order to improve the performance of the machine as a whole. Another detector in India - LIGO-India - will also turn on simultaneously with Advanced LIGO Plus in order to use the same quantum methods.

And this means that we will see new gravitational waves every day. Just imagine what picture of the universe will open before us. We propose to discuss this in our chat room in Telegram.