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Proceedings Paper

Optical coatings for gravitational wave detection
Author(s): Gregory M. Harry; Helena Armandula; Eric Black; David R.M. Crooks; Gianpietro Cagnoli; Martin M. Fejer; Jim Hough; Steven D. Penn; Sheila Rowan; Roger Route; Peter Sneddon
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Paper Abstract

Gravitational waves are a prediction of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. Astrophysical events like supernova and binary neutron star inspirals are predicted to create potentially detectable waves. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) is an experiment to detect these waves using Michelson interferometers with 4 km long arms. The effect of gravitational waves, even on an interferometer with such a long baseline, is extremely, with mirror displacements around 10-18m. Reducing noise is thus a primary design criterion. For the next generation interferometers now being designed, thermal noise from the optical coatings of the interferometer mirrors could prove a problematic limiting noise source. Reducing the mechanical loss of these coatings to improve thermal noise, while preserving the sub-ppm optical absorption, low scatter, and high reflectivity needed in the interferometer is an important area of research.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 September 2004
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5527, Advances in Thin Film Coatings for Optical Applications, (29 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.555780
Show Author Affiliations
Gregory M. Harry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Helena Armandula, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Eric Black, California Institute of Technology (United States)
David R.M. Crooks, Univ. of Glasgow (United Kingdom)
Gianpietro Cagnoli, Univ. of Glasgow (United Kingdom)
Martin M. Fejer, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Jim Hough, Univ. of Glasgow (United Kingdom)
Steven D. Penn, Hobart and William Smith Colleges (United States)
Sheila Rowan, Univ. of Glasgow (United Kingdom)
Roger Route, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Peter Sneddon, Univ. of Glasgow (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5527:
Advances in Thin Film Coatings for Optical Applications
Jennifer D. T. Kruschwitz; James B. Oliver, Editor(s)

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