Albert Einstein’s predicted gravitational waves were first detected experimentally by the American LIGO team earlier this year. LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) comprises two huge ground installations in the United States, in which hydraulic rams are used to stabilize the four-kilometer-long arms of the interferometers against terrestrial perturbations. A prodigious feat of engineering in itself.
In a news release, 7th June, 2016, the LIGO team congratulated the European Space Agency on the proof-of-principle of its space-based interferometer, Lisa Pathfinder (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna). Le Figaro’s senior science reporter, Tristan Vey, explains.