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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; James Hough; Steven D. Penn; Sheila Rowan; Roger K. Route; Peter Sneddon
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Paper Abstract

Einstein's General Theory of Relativity predicts waves in spacetime caused by oscillating masses. Such waves, known as gravitational waves, are predicted to be created by binary black hole or neutron star inspirals, super-nova, or other catastrophic astronomical events. Even with such large masses moving so repidly, the expected size of the waves is extremely small, typically of order 10-21 in unitless strain as seen on Earth. LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory, is a basic physics experiments designed to detect and study these waves. The next generation interferometers, known as Advanced LIGO, are currently being designed. Thermal noise from mechanical loss in the optical coatings of the mirrors is expected to be an important limiting noise source. Reducing this noise by developing lower mechanical loss coatings, while preserving optical and thermal properties needed in the interferometer, is an area of active research.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 December 2004
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5578, Photonics North 2004: Photonic Applications in Astronomy, Biomedicine, Imaging, Materials Processing, and Education, (9 December 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.567076
Show Author Affiliations
Gregory M. Harry, LIGO Lab., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Helena Armandula, LIGO Lab., California Institute of Technology (United States)
Eric Black, LIGO Lab., 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)
James Hough, Univ. of Glasgow (United Kingdom)
Steven D. Penn, Hobart and William Smith Colleges (United States)
Sheila Rowan, Univ. of Glasgow (United Kingdom)
Roger K. Route, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Peter Sneddon, Univ. of Glasgow (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5578:
Photonics North 2004: Photonic Applications in Astronomy, Biomedicine, Imaging, Materials Processing, and Education
Marc Nantel; Glen Herriot; Graham H. McKinnon; Leonard MacEachern; Robert A. Weersink; Rejean Munger; Andrew Ridsdale, Editor(s)

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