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ESOF insight: Frontiers of physics

Detailed studies of the very big and the very small both require extraordinarily large and complex instruments that can only be constructed through global collaboration, senior physicists have said at the EuroScience Open Forum in Manchester.

Speaking at a physics session on 27 July, Stephen Fairhurst, an astrophysicist at the gravitational wave detector LIGO in the United States, paid tribute to the range of expertise that had made the historic detection of gravitational waves possible.

He described LIGO’s potential future partnerships and expansion, including the creation of a gravitational wave observatory in India, and said that by the end of the decade “we hope to see a black hole merger every day, and then other things like neutron stars merging, and maybe something else we don’t expect”.

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