New Delhi :
Two American detectors created history when they a heard a blast from the past and if things go as per plan, India could be the home for a third similar listening post that would help unravel deep secrets of the universe.
The discovery of past murmurs from a 1.3 billion old cataclysmic collision of two black holes was heard by two super-sophisticated detectors located in America; this sound of merging black holes led a team of over a 1,000 scientists to discover what are called gravitation waves, a true perturbation in the fabric of space and time.
It is hailed as the discovery of a century. It also proves what the genius physicist Albert Einstein had theoretically predicted almost a century ago.
There is a huge India connect to this discovery, there are many Indian institutions like the Raman Research Institute, Bengaluru among others which have directly contributed to this landmark finding.
However, if only the Indian government had acted in a timely manner, India could well have heard the same murmurs as well.
There is a scientific plan pending since 2011 for setting up a third detector and the first outside the US, in India.
The chirp which heralded the arrival of gravitation waves could well have turned into a roar, had the Indian government been quick in its decision-making.
While the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave an in-principle clearance in 2014 but it failed to allocate funds for this mega-science project.
In contrast, seizing the opportunity of this huge discovery, the space buff in Prime Minister Narendra Modi within 20 minutes of the global announcement gave a statement that has gladdened the Indian scientific community.
Modi said, “Historic detection of gravitational waves opens up new frontier for understanding of universe! Immensely proud, that Indian scientists played an important role in this challenging quest. Hope to move forward to make even bigger contribution with an advanced gravitational wave detector in the country.”
Its his last sentence that makes the Indian astronomy community feel buoyant that the dream of having a third Laser Interferometer Gravitation Wave Observatory (LIGO) detector in India could well be a reality.