LIGO: Mistakes admitted, design change needed

Suddenly now, a new tune emerges! Remember that so far the world has been told that the LIGO discovery is 100.00% solid, that there is not an iota of doubt. We have heard of improvements being made to an already perfect LIGO instrument for even greater perfection.

But now a prominent US Ligonaut is speaking of mistakes with the US LIGO that will be corrected while building the Indian LIGO.

Also, so far we have been told that LIGO India will be an exact replica of the US LIGO. Suddenly we hear talk of “a different technology”! They are going to design a new LIGO India.

Given the supremely holy attitude of the Ligonauts, this is nothing less than a total about-face. There is a great deal that should be read into this:

“The need for an Indian LIGO is well justified. Each observatory is different and uses a different technology. We will put the mistakes of US detectors to rest while designing LIGO India. The country’s unique location will help detect gravitational sources more accurately,” said Rana Adhikari, a professor at California Institute of Technology, who is involved in the development of LIGO India.

Here, for comparison, is what the LIGO India plan was as recently as September:

The team currently operating the US detectors will provide the Indian researchers with the hardware for a complete LIGO interferometer that detects the wave signals; technical data on its design, installation and commissioning; and the training required to build and run the observatory. The Indian team will provide the site; all other infrastructure required to house and operate the interferometer; and the labor, materials, and supplies for installing, commissioning, and operating the detector. The plan is to have it operational by 2024.

So given this abrupt admission of mistakes by a senior LIGO scientist, what about the LIGO discovery?

Them Nobel folks have escaped narrowly by not awarding the prize this year. May be they have Professor Wolfgang Engelhardt to thank.

Now I would like to say something to the Indian physics community at large. This new song is yet another deception. There is nothing to fix in LIGO. It is a flawed instrument concept at the very basic level. The instrument philosophy conceived by Rainer Weiss is all wrong. And Rana Adhikari is a student of Rainer Weiss. Baap ka beta, Sipahi ka ghoda; Kuch aur nahi to thoda thoda.

I have explained the central fraud (fraud – not mistake!) with LIGO instrument many times in many ways. Let me try to pinpoint this again.

LIGO has two end mirrors whose axes are perpendicular to each other. The mirrors are not mechanically coupled in any way. Each vibrates independently depending on how it is actuated. That is a necessary principle of the instrument. If you tap one mirror in the back, it will oscillate but the other mirror will do nothing. Similarly, if a geomagnetic or seismic disturbance actuates LIGO, each mirror will vibrate depending on how it is actuated.

LIGO end mirrors

LIGO end mirrors

Now, the theory of gravitational wave says that if such a wave came down vertically (say) and hit LIGO, the two mirrors would be in an entangled mode of vibration. As one mirror moves in towards the corner of the L, the other mirror moves out. The “displacement” curves would be 180 degrees out of phase but otherwise synchronous, and equal in amplitude. This entangled mode of mirror vibration is the desired proof that a gravitational wave has passed through. This is what is to be observed. After this observation has been analyzed to establish the passage of a gravitational wave, the interference waveform between the two mirrors can be used to make inferences about the source of the gravitational wave.


BASIC OBSERVATION A: The displacement traces for the two mirrors, showing they are synchronous and 180 degrees out of phase, and have equal amplitudes. (This is the detection of gravitational wave.)

DEPENDENT OBSERVATION B: The interference wave between the two mirrors. (This, in conjunction with a source model, can be used to make inferences about the source of the wave.)


(1). LIGO dispenses with the Observing Step A, and simply preaches instead that the two mirrors are in entangled vibration. You are told to accept this as Received Truth.

(2). With this preaching, LIGO proceeds directly to the Observing Step B, and reports both the discovery of gravitational wave and its source mechanism.

Step 1 above is the fraud. It amounts to “fixing” the instrument in advance to guarantee the finding of gravitational waves. All they have to do is wait to observe the “right” kind of wiggle to show up that they can fit their source model to – a model that has great flexibility.

The fix is in! It’s in there!

Get out of the LIGO mess while you can! Don’t get pulled in deeper and deeper. If you want to do gravitational wave, do gravitational wave by all means. Start from scratch, conceive your own instrument, and for god’s sake, bring in the right people.


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