General Relativity and Gravitation

, Volume 43, Issue 7, pp 1905–1930

Sources and technology for an atomic gravitational wave interferometric sensor

Authors

  • Michael Hohensee
    • Department of PhysicsUniversity of California
  • Shau-Yu Lan
    • Department of PhysicsUniversity of California
  • Rachel Houtz
    • Department of PhysicsUniversity of California
  • Cheong Chan
    • Department of PhysicsUniversity of California
  • Brian Estey
    • Department of PhysicsUniversity of California
  • Geena Kim
    • Department of PhysicsUniversity of California
  • Pei-Chen Kuan
    • Department of PhysicsUniversity of California
    • Department of PhysicsUniversity of California
Open AccessResearch Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10714-010-1118-x

Cite this article as:
Hohensee, M., Lan, S., Houtz, R. et al. Gen Relativ Gravit (2011) 43: 1905. doi:10.1007/s10714-010-1118-x

Abstract

We study the use of atom interferometers as detectors for gravitational waves in the mHz–Hz frequency band, which is complementary to planned optical interferometers, such as laser interferometer gravitational wave observatories (LIGOs) and the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). We describe an optimized atomic gravitational wave interferometric sensor (AGIS), whose sensitivity is proportional to the baseline length to power of 5/2, as opposed to the linear scaling of a more conservative design. Technical challenges are briefly discussed, as is a table-top demonstrator AGIS that is presently under construction at Berkeley. We study a range of potential sources of gravitational waves visible to AGIS, including galactic and extra-galactic binaries. Based on the predicted shot noise limited performance, AGIS should be capable of detecting type Ia supernovae precursors within 500 pc, up to 200 years beforehand. An optimized detector may be capable of detecting waves from RX J0806.3+1527.

Keywords

Gravitational wavesAtom interferometersBinary systems
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© The Author(s) 2010