Mechanical aspects in interferometric gravity wave detectors

  • A. Rüdiger
  • colleagues of GEO
Gravitational Waves
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 410)


In order to measure the tiny effects of gravitational waves, strains in space (i.e. relative changes in distance) of as little as 10-21 or even less have to be detected, at frequencies ranging from 10011z to several kHz. Large laser interferometers are the most promising approach to reach such extreme sensitivities. This ‘straightforward’ road is, however, obstructed by a multitude of effects that cause (or fake) such fluctuations in distance. Among these are seismic motions, thermal vibrations of optical components, pressure fluctuations of the residual gas in the vacuum tubes, and fundamental effects such as Heisenberg's uncertainty relation.

What all of these noise sources have in common is that their effects can be reduced by the choice of sufficiently large arm lengths. This is what dictates the (very expensive) choice of arm lengths of 3 to 4 km in the currently proposed gravitational wave detectors (USA, D-GB, F-I, AUS, JAP).


Gravitational Wave Shot Noise Seismic Noise Seismic Isolation Double Pendulum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Rüdiger
    • 1
  • colleagues of GEO
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für QuantenoptikGarchingGermany

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