Belgian universities part of a European consortium to build the ‘Einstein Telescope’
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    Belgian universities part of a European consortium to build the ‘Einstein Telescope’

    © Belga

    A consortium of Belgian, German and Dutch universities plans to build an underground laboratory to measure gravitational waves.

    The plans for the “Einstein Telescope”, a European project, were unveiled in Antwerp.

    In his relativity theory, Albert Einstein spoke of the existence of gravitational waves, fluctuations in the space-time curve. These were observed for the first time in 2015.

    “We use telescopes to observe these gravitational waves,” University of Antwerp Physics Professor Nick Van Remortel explained.

    “We need specific infrastructure with high-tech lasers and underground tunnels that can be built in densely populated areas. The underground element is very important for limiting the vibrations.”

    One of two possible locations for the project is in the Dutch Limburg area. “The composition of the ground there is ideal,” Van Remortel said.

    “Europe will decide on the location in 2021, the construction of 10 to 15 km-long tunnels could begin around 2025 and the project could be up and running in 2032.”

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times