Thermal noise from optical coatings in gravitational wave detectors

Harry, G.M. et al. (2006) Thermal noise from optical coatings in gravitational wave detectors. Applied Optics, 45(7), pp. 1569-1574. (doi:10.1364/AO.45.001569) (PMID:16539265)

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Abstract

Gravitational waves are a prediction of Einstein's general theory of relativity. These waves are created by massive objects, like neutron stars or black holes, oscillating at speeds appreciable to the speed of light. The detectable effect on the Earth of these waves is extremely small, however, creating strains of the order of 10−2110−21. There are a number of basic physics experiments around the world designed to detect these waves by using interferometers with very long arms, up to 4  km4  km in length. The next-generation interferometers are currently being designed, and the thermal noise in the mirrors will set the sensitivity over much of the usable bandwidth. Thermal noise arising from mechanical loss in the optical coatings put on the mirrors will be a significant source of noise. Achieving higher sensitivity through lower mechanical loss coatings, while preserving the crucial optical and thermal properties, is an area of active research right now.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cagnoli, Dr Gianpietro and Rowan, Professor Sheila and Reid, Professor Stuart and Crooks, Dr David and Hough, Professor James and Sneddon, Dr Peter and Murray, Dr Peter
Authors: Harry, G.M., Armandula, H., Black, E., Crooks, D.R.M., Cagnoli, G., Hough, J., Murray, P., Reid, S., Rowan, S., Sneddon, P., Fejer, M.M., Route, R., and Penn, S.D.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Applied Optics
Publisher:Optical Society of America
ISSN:1559-128X
ISSN (Online):2155-3165

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