Technology for the next gravitational wave detectors


This paper reviews some of the key enabling technologies for advanced and future laser interferometer gravitational wave detectors, which must combine test masses with the lowest possible optical and acoustic losses, with high stability lasers and various techniques for suppressing noise. Sect. 1 of this paper presents a review of the acoustic properties of test masses. Sect. 2 reviews the technology of the amorphous dielectric coatings which are currently universally used for the mirrors in advanced laser interferometers, but for which lower acoustic loss would be very advantageous. In sect. 3 a new generation of crystalline optical coatings that offer a substantial reduction in thermal noise is reviewed. The optical properties of test masses are reviewed in sect. 4, with special focus on the properties of silicon, an important candidate material for future detectors. Sect. 5 of this paper presents the very low noise, high stability laser technology that underpins all advanced and next generation laser interferometers.

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Correspondence to Shiuh Chao.

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Mitrofanov, V.P., Chao, S., Pan, H. et al. Technology for the next gravitational wave detectors. Sci. China Phys. Mech. Astron. 58, 120404 (2015).

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  • gravitational waves
  • advanced techniques
  • thermal noise
  • coating
  • laser