The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is a facility dedicated to the detection of cosmic gravitational waves and the harnessing of these waves for scientific research. It consists of two widely separated installations within the United States one in Hanford Washington and the other in Livingston, Louisiana operated in unison as a single observatory. LIGO is being built by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Funded by the National Science Foundation, LIGO will function as a national resource for both physics and astrophysics. When it reaches maturity, this observatory will be open for use by the national community and will become part of a planned worldwide network of gravitational-wave observatories. The LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) is the forum organizing technical and scientific research in LIGO. Its mission is to insure equal opportunity for individual participants and institutions within the scientific community.
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