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Research

The Einstein Telescope, estimated to cost around €790m and be completed by 2025, is a third-generation gravitational-wave observatory that will be 100 times more sensitive than current instruments. It will seek to directly detect gravitational waves and attempt to work out their origin and nature. It will differ from existing gravitational-wave detectors by being built underground. Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space-time which Einstein’s general theory of relativity predicts ought to pervade the universe. The telescope is one of seven projects recommended by the Astroparticle European Research Area (ASPERA) network, funded by the European Commission, the CERN particle-physics lab and 17 countries around the world. The #ETPathfinder, a test facility for the #EinsteinTelescope, is since August this year being housed at Maastricht University in #Maastricht. The ET Pathfinder is a kind of scale model of the Einstein Telescope – a deep-cooled, triangular underground laser detector ten kilometres in length, which in theory will be able to explore the universe as far back as the Big Bang. The test facility has now optimally positioned the #EuregioMeuseRhine as a potential candidate for the construction and operation of the Einstein Telescope as the landscape of the EMR; #Sardinia is also in the running for the detector. The decision regarding the ultimate location will be make in 2021 or 2022. The arrival of the obervatory would mean a major boost for the EMR. Not only scientifically but also economically. Our industries can earn from the construction and development of the telescope, and our educational institutions such as Maastricht University and RWTH Aachen University, are participating in the project. The EMR then becomes the centre for research into gravitational waves. Scientists from all over the world will make their way here to conduct research, and they will reside here. According to a study by Provincie Limburg, the telescope could provide approximately 500 direct and over 1000 indirect jobs. Photo: ASPERA



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