Notes and ideas for LIGO in school

Waves in physics: distance, time for wavespeed

HW: real world examples (e.g. wavespeed)

How to do a research study

  • Could work well for science intro class (e.g. Gr 9)


  • changes in fringes due to dropping weights 
  • general understanding of how it is made and works
  • engineering practices
  • makes a good demo (6 kits are a bit expensive)
  • follow with LIGO lesson/data
  • How do you measure that? Students each pick an important experiment: interferometer is in several.
  • IB: use diffraction to find wavelength of light - optics option

Posters - good intro to making a poster, easy to use. Useful after IB exam.

IB options:

  • imaging
  • optics

IB internal assessment - has all the elements including poster creation

Interferometer with LIGO

Images from ppt

Use Data Portfolio activities, e.g penny activity

Student interest: more LIGO instrument, gravitational waves, GTR, etc than seismic data (but all are important)

Great for end-of-semester work