LIGO India: The strategic planning meeting

This week LIGO India will hold its first scientific strategy meeting since the project was approved in principle last February, in the aftermath of the LIGO discovery. The stated purpose of the meeting:

This is the first LIGO-India specific meeting since it received its in-principle approval from the Government of India earlier this year. The primary purpose of this meeting is to discuss the various activities that Indian experimenters will need to undertake in order to build and commission LIGO-India.

Now, as I have shown, scientifically and technically speaking LIGO is a piece of unsalvageable garbage. It needs to be sold for scrap metal, and the land reclaimed. (But not before Christo has a go at LIGO by wrapping the tubes in bright-colored fabric.)

But the Ligonauts are operating their own weirdorama science. So let us examine this Indian strategy meeting on the false assumption that LIGO is a valid scientific concept to be adopted/adapted in India.

Here is the meeting agenda.

I was astounded to see this. The same usual suspects, the same avoidance of central issues, the same keeping out key Indian experts from outside the LIGO club!

Let me highlight two area that needed to be absolutely forefront for discussion in this meeting, with tremendous emphasis.

(1). Where are the Indian seismology experts from outside the LIGO coterie? India has a fine scientific base in seismology as it applies to the Indian setting. A 15-minute talk on seismic noise studies is all that is included to cover this overarching subject.

(2). Where are the experts on geomagnetic activity? India has experts in this field as it applies to the Indian setting. The LIGO site they are contemplating in Maharashtra has high lightning activity, for example. But then there are ionospheric and solar activities.

If LIGO were a functioning equipment, every LIGO observatory would need to have co-located, ad hoc and custom-designed seismic and geomagnetic observatories as integral part of LIGO. This topic should have been front and center in planning LIGO India as the new Indian component not present in US LIGO, given that the LIGO instrument itself just needed to be copied from the US.

LIGO needed to be at least a three-legged chair, with gravitational, seismic and geomagnetic observatories each forming a leg.

But there is clearly no emphasis on these major, India-specific issues. Instead we have the same old same old. The same tired topics and the same hackneyed talks. These people do not know the first thing about strategic scientific planning.

It appears to me that there is a clear strategy to avoid crucial new issues lest they retroactively place the original discoveries in question. Those discoveries need to be maintained even if it means constructing a deficient Indian LIGO.

The Indian Ligonauts are self-described scientific pioneers, but in truth they are without a scientific clue. They have done some computer modeling and signal processing and suddenly fancy that they have become experts on all things LIGO. So much so that they keep out relevant and available expertise from their own countrymen. Why are they afraid of fresh eyes?

In no way, shape or form does the Indian LIGO team cover the crucial areas of expertise needed for LIGO. So why do not the Indian government technocrats require that appropriate Indian expertise be brought in from outside this coterie? Is the tacit assumption here that sahib science is assured science?

But all this is just shadow-boxing on my part. LIGO is a piece of crap and India should scrap the whole thing outright.

As a footnote, the employer of a prominent German Ligonaut who got too big for his breeches is being taken to court:

Prof. Karsten Danzmann did not answer 3 questions concerning the LIGO experiment which were posed to him in the context of the “Informationsfreiheitsgesetz”. He let elapse the appropriate period for reply without answering before August 8, 2016.

Consequently, Mrs. Jocelyne Lopez and Dipl.-Ing. Ekkehard Friebe have mandated lawyer David Sanker, resident in Cologne (http://www.sanker-office.eu/ ), to start a law suit in First Instance at the proper administration court because of refusal to communicate the required informations.

The LIGO scam will unravel for sure, and India will be left holding the bag. What should be found most disturbing is that the Indian Ligonauts cannot understand the LIGO scam even when it has been explained fully.

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