IQIM Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Seminar

Friday January 19, 2018 12:00 PM

Improving gravitational-wave detector sensitivity with cryogenic test mass cooling

Speaker: Johannes Eichholz, Adhikari Group
Location: East Bridge 114

Abstract: Interferometric gravitational wave detectors use the reflective surfaces of seismically isolated test masses as inertial position references to measure the stretching of space due to passing gravitational waves. Thermal noise of the coatings, substrates, and fiber suspensions, which distorts the reflected wave fronts and causes displacement noise in the interferometer readout, is a limiting factor in current detectors, and needs to be significantly lowered for any future improvements in sensitivity. Cryogenic cooling reduces the amount of thermal energy in the mirrors, resulting in lower thermal noise, but comes with severe design constraints to keep the mirrors inertial and requires new substrate and coating materials. I will discuss the difficulties of cryogenic detector upgrades and present coating research and prototyping efforts using table-top optical experiments.


 

 

Series IQIM Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Seminar Series

Contact: Marcia Brown at 626-395-4013 marciab@caltech.edu