A historical perspective on the 3rd-generation GW detectors: The early attempts for a joint European effort (1986--1989).
La Rana A.
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The advent of long-base-line interferometric detectors projected the field of GW research in the cosmos of Big Science, a gradual transformation taking place at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s. Particularly engaging is the European context of this transformation. The present contribution focuses on the origins of the Virgo endeavor, rooted in the 1980s, critically analyzed in the European and international context. The first proposals for large based interferometric detectors were then being discussed, strongly bound to the need of creating a coordinated network of antennas, including the optimistic plan of building an array of three interferometers in Europe.