Event Details

Current and next generation terrestrial gravitational wave detectors

  • 2020-01-13
  • Gautam Venugopalan, Caltech

The 2015 measurement of a gravitational wave signal from two coalescing black holes has opened up an exciting new field of astrophysics. While the cumulative number of candidate signals is now in excess of 50, high-fidelity black-hole and neutron star spectroscopy are just beyond the reach of the current generation of terrestrial gravitational wave detectors. Optical loss is a major limiting factor in realizing sensitivity improvements - but if we can exploit the ponderomotive interaction at audio-band frequencies, the sensitivity could be improved by a factor of a few at frequencies between 100 Hz and 3 kHz. In this talk, I’ll briefly describe the current state-of-the-art in gravitational wave detectors, and describe the work that is being done at the Caltech 40m prototype interferometer in testing out schemes for harnessing optomechanics for next generation.