The GEO 600 Gravitational Wave Detector Status, Research, Development
The last few years have brought a great break-through in the quest for earth-bound detection of gravitational waves: at five sites, laser-interferometric detectors, of armlengths from 0.3 to 4 km, are being built. These projects have in common that one prominent noise source, the shot noise, is reduced by the use of power recycling. By using advanced optical technologies early on, the German-British project GEO 600, although only intermediate in size (600 m), has good chances for a competitive sensitivity, at least with the first versions of the larger detectors. Particularly the use of the so-called signal recycling technique will allow to search for faint sources of only slowly varying frequency (pulsars, close binaries). The talk will describe the particular topology of the GEO 600 interferometer, characterized by the use of a four-pass delay line and signal recycling. The major noise sources, and the experimental effort aiming at their reduction, will be discussed. The current status of the construction of GEO 600 will be outlined (civil engineering, vacuum, optics). The research and development activities at the experimental sites (Garching, Glasgow, Hannover) will be given broad emphasis. First science runs of GEO 600, well in time with those of other ground-based interferometers, are expected in the year 2001.
KeywordsShot Noise Seismic Noise Test Mass Michelson Interferometer Vacuum Tank
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