The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) is the world's largest gravitational wave observatory and a cutting edge physics experiment. Comprised of two enormous laser interferometers located thousands of kilometers apart, LIGO exploits the physical properties of light and of space itself to detect and understand the origins of gravitational waves. LIGO searches for black holes, neutron stars, supernovae, and more exotic phenomena.
Gravitational waves offer a remarkable opportunity to see the universe from a new perspective, providing access to astrophysical insights that are available in no other way. The Advanced LIGO project has brought about the complete upgrade of LIGO’s gravitational wave interferometers, taking these instruments to sensitivities that should make gravitational wave detections a routine occurrence. The Advanced LIGO upgrade began in 2008 and reached completion in 2015. Together with Advanced Virgo, a detector founded by France and Italy, Advanced LIGO is bringing gravitational wave astronomy to maturity.