Twenty-eight students from Cabrini High School in AP and honors level sciences classes were invited to attend a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) based field trip at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO facility, in Livingston, Louisiana. In September of 2015, LIGO was credited with the discovery of gravitational waves. This major scientific breakthrough is consistent with the predictions that Albert Einstein made in his 1915 theory of general relativity. The gravity waves are “ripples” in the fabric of space-time that provide evidence of cataclysmic events in the galaxy (like the collision of two black holes) more than 1.3 billion years ago. The students and two science department members were able to experience hands-on, interactive experiments and demos that explain how waves interact. As part of the facility tour, students were able to go into the laser control room and ask the scientists and engineers about the inner workings of the LIGO lab.
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