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Gravitational Wave Detectors

Ripples in the fabric of space-time

Edwards enables Gravitational Wave Detection

Gravitational Waves
It is essential that the observatories housing the interferometers are perfectly clean and extremely stable

The whole interferometer must remain as optically perfect as possible.
Any residual gas would affect the measurement, so the light beam must operate under an ultra-high vacuum.

XDS Dry Scroll Pump
Edwards' XDS scroll pumps have been used for over 10 years at the Virgo detector for gravitational waves in Italy.

Virgo has two 3 km long tubes, each 1.2 m in diameter, which are the largest ultra-high vacuum vessels in Europe, and the second largest in the world.

With their innovative design and robustness, the XDS dry scroll pumps have been used for various experimental set-ups, including pre-evacuation and baking out of large chambers.

Edwards applications and derivatives team
For more than 20 years the two LIGO observatories in the USA have relied on Edwards

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is a large-scale physics experiment and observatories located over 2 sites: Hanford Site, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana, US.

They were the first to detect cosmic gravitational waves and to develop gravitational-wave observations as an astronomical tool. 

They have or long relied on our oil free dry pumps and STP magnetically levitated turbomolecular pumps

Discover Other Applications Enabled by Edwards Vacuum