The arrival of the Einstein Telescope to South Limburg seems a step closer now that the government has reserved almost one billion euros for the project. That is what researcher Gideon Koekoek of Maastricht University says in the L1 program L1mburg Centraal.
The Einstein Telescope is a kilometers long underground instrument that measures gravity waves from the universe.
It is a European project that will be decided in 2025. In addition to the Netherlands, which wants to win the project together with Belgium and Germany, Italy is also in the race. That’s where the Einstein Telescope in Sardinia should be. It concerns three tubes of ten kilometers long that must be laid three hundred meters underground in a triangle in the Heuvelland and in the Belgian and German border region.
“The government has always supported the project, but with this money they are really hitting it off,” says Gideon Koekoek, physicist and researcher at Maastricht University. He is involved in preparations for the project. “It’s really great that this money is now available and it certainly increases our chances of getting the Telescope.”
According to Koekeoek, the investment will pay off. “There is research that shows that every euro we put in brings in three euros for the region. You have to imagine that hundreds of people from all over the world come here to work on the Telescope. The construction of the Telescope will also take a lot create employment.”
The Telescope must be located at a depth of 300 meters. It will be decided in 2025 where it will come in and it should be put into use by 2035. “The construction will of course be a gigantic operation, but once it is in place, you won’t notice anything above ground,” says Koekoek. “You will be able to get in on three points and that is the only thing you will see.”
The Telscope is the first to record gravitational waves from the universe. “Up to now we have mainly measured light rays, but they don’t go back further than 400,000 years after the Big Bang. We can still measure gravity waves from before that period. It will really teach us more about the origin of the universe and the universe. “
Whether he gets there will also be a political game. “In the end they decide in Brussels and politicians will divide projects among themselves, but we really have a good chance. Partly because we do it with three countries. That’s pretty European, isn’t it?”