posted by: tbehrens
On Monday and Tuesday of this past week, a pilot LIGO workshop was held at Jordan hall. It was attended by nine area teachers, conducted by Tom Loughran, and Dale Ingram sat in via teleconference.
LIGO stands for Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory and consists of seismometers set up over two four-kilometer arms in a remote location in Washington. These seismometers are braced so that they will not pick up seismic activity on the earth, but rather pick up gravitational waves from space. Unfortunately, it is impossible to eliminate all the seismic noise that the earth makes so LIGO is able to detect earthquakes from all over the world.
The data picked up by LIGO is stored in an online program called Bluestone, where it can be accessed by teachers and students to find and identify earthquakes. The LIGO conference was held was aimed at showing teachers how to use the LIGO e-labs in their classrooms.