Reducing the suspension thermal noise of advanced gravitational wave detectors

Hammond, G.D. , Cumming, A.V. , Hough, J. , Kumar, R., Tokmakov, K., Reid, S. and Rowan, S. (2012) Reducing the suspension thermal noise of advanced gravitational wave detectors. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 29(12), Art. 124009. (doi: 10.1088/0264-9381/29/12/124009)

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The international network of gravitational wave detectors is currently undergoing sensitivity upgrades (aLIGO, aVIRGO and GEO-HF) which will lead to the first detection and subsequent observation of a rich variety of astrophysical sources. To obtain a factor of 10 improvement in the strain sensitivity at low frequencies requires the use of ultralow mechanical loss materials and monolithic fused silica suspensions, optimized mirror coatings and the development of cutting edge techniques to super-polish and figure the interferometer optics. The possibility of applying incremental upgrades to the second generation detectors can be realized by making small but significant changes to the suspensions and/or optical mirror coatings. This includes the use of longer suspensions to increase the dissipation dilution, the development of techniques to reduce the surface loss in fused silica suspensions and methods to lower the mechanical loss from the metal springs used to support the test mass. Such upgrades can potentially improve the strain sensitivity by a factor of 2.5. Looking beyond 2015, the development of techniques to further improve the sensitivity by one order of magnitude are discussed. The third generation detectors will be located underground and will be operated at cryogenic temperatures. At low temperatures, silicon is a particularly promising candidate material as it displays good thermal conductivity, high tensile strength and zero thermal expansion coefficient at 120 K, 18 K and T -> 0 K.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hammond, Professor Giles and Reid, Professor Stuart and Tokmakov, Dr Kirill and Rowan, Professor Sheila and Kumar, Mr Rahul and Cumming, Dr Alan and Hough, Professor James
Authors: Hammond, G.D., Cumming, A.V., Hough, J., Kumar, R., Tokmakov, K., Reid, S., and Rowan, S.
Subjects:Q Science > QC Physics
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Research Group:Institute for Gravitational Research
Journal Name:Classical and Quantum Gravity
ISSN (Online):1361-6382

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
459313Investigations in Gravitational Radiation.Sheila RowanScience & Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)ST/J000361/1P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY