General Relativity Seminar
Beyond the second generation of gravitational wave detectors
Monday December 1, 2014 15:00:00 CET
Monday December 1, 2014 15:45:00 CET
from Ronny Nawrodt for the GWA14 Conference
Gravitational wave detectors are currently upgraded to the 2nd generation achieving extremely high sensitivities in a wide frequency band. A first direct detection of gravitational waves is expected once these instruments are getting online. Such a detection will mark the starting point for a gravitational wave based astronomy. Thus, detectors of the third generation are designed to be used as efficient astronomical observatories. For this purpose the sensitivity of the 2nd generation detectors has to be enhanced. As the sensitivity of current instruments approaches the thermal noise floor of their fused silica components a radical change of materials is necessary. Additionally, 3rd generation detectors will be operated at cryogenic temperatures to further reduce thermal noise and increase their sensitivity. This talk will give an overview of proposed technologies towards 3rd generation detectors leading to a 10 times higher sensitivity throughout the audio band. The focus will lie on the selection of materials for the optics as well as the suspension elements according to their properties. The characterisation of these materials and the choice of their operational temperature is discussed as well.