Gravitational Waves - News from the Universe featuring Michèle Heurs (Leibniz Universität Hannover)
Hosted by Eliana Masha (HZDR, Germany)
Since the first direct detection of gravitational waves in 2015, we have gained an entirely new observation window to the universe – now, we not only have electromagnetic telescopes and neutrino detectors to view astrophysical events, but we can also listen to the cosmos using interferometric gravitational wave detectors. The sensitivity of these interferometers is so incredible that quantum effects of the employed light have already become limiting. Ultra-precisely stabilised lasers do not suffice; non-classical light is already routinely employed in the current (second) generation gravitational wave detectors (such as aLIGO and AdVirgo). Other noise sources, such as seismic and thermal noise, pose further challenges for next-generation detectors.
To achieve ever-higher detection rates for meaningful gravitational wave astronomy, ever-greater detection sensitivity is required. In this talk, I will introduce the principle of interferometric gravitational wave detection and highlight some of the advanced technologies employed in Advanced LIGO.