Einstein Telescope R&D

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: School of Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

Gravitational waves are the last prediction of general relativity still awaiting direct experimental detection. The efforts in constructing and optimising large interferometers in different locations all over the world in the last two decades have resulted in instruments of extraordinary sensitivity. While the British/German gravitational wave detector GEO 600 is currently taking data, the American LIGO detectors and the Franco/Italian Virgo detector are being upgraded to further increase their sensitivity. Once these upgrades have reached their design sensitivity the theoretical estimates predict the detection of gravitational waves within a few months to a year. Although frequent detections will be possible, the detection of high signal to-noise ratio events, allowing precision gravitational wave astronomy, will be very rare.
The ET-R&D project is aimed at essential R&D tasks in preparation for a technical design of the Einstein Telescope, a 3rd generation, underground gravitational wave detector. It is widely expected that this detector will allow routine gravitational wave astronomy to take place. While the basic design mostly relies on techniques well developed and tested for the advanced detectors, several aspects still require R&D with long lead times. We propose to target the most important of these topics in this ET-R&D project via 5 working groups (WGs).
WG1 will explore how well astrophysical source models and GR itself can be tested with ET, and how much information on the dynamics of the universe can be extracted from the data. WG2 will collect long term seismic data for various candidate sites and develop methods for measuring the seismic motion which directly couples to the test mass motion, with the goal of developing subtraction techniques. WG3 will investigate properties of cryogenic optics essential for lowering detector thermal noise and providing good low frequency performance. The control of various interferometer degrees of freedom and noise correlations in the data of the three different ET detectors will be studied in WG4. WG5 will focus on overall project management.

Planned Impact

There are already numerous beneficiaries from the existing programs of research in gravitational waves across the UK and Europe, including industry, other academic disciplines, schools, science centres, museums and the general public. The research outlined within this proposal will further strengthen these benefits, by enabling the UK, along with European partners, to maintain international leadership in the development of technologies for future gravitational wave observatories.
Outreach to schools, science centres, museums and the general public is very strong in the field of Gravitational Wave research, driven by interest in viewing the Universe through the medium of gravity - probing black holes, the warping of space-time and the big bang itself. We propose to continue to contribute to on-going outreach efforts, including working with PR companies such as Milde Marketing to disseminate scientific progress to the public.
 
Description The aim of the project was to study details of the sensing and control achemes required for the planned new gravitational wave detector, the Einstein Telescope. We focussed our efforts on one particular aspect, so-called parametric instabilities. These are instabilities in the control of the main optics, created via a coupling between optical resonances and mechanical resonances. We have developed a new modelling framework to investigate such systems and could suggest two mitigation schemes to reduce the impact of such instabilities by changing the optical design.
Exploitation Route Our schemes and the modelling framework are available to the community and are applicable to other design upgrades such as LIGO.
Sectors Other

 
Description The grant supported basic R+D for pure research. Thus our main impact is through outreach and public engagement. The Einstein Telescope project has resonated very well with the audiences in our many enagement activities. I have listed the relavant activities which features this project within the engagement section.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural

 
Description Einstein Telescope Collaboration 
Organisation European Commission
Department Einstein Telescope
Country European Union (EU) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Continous contributions to the development and science exploitation of the Gravitational Wave Detector 'Einstein Telescope'
Collaborator Contribution Continous contributions to the development and science exploitation of the Gravitational Wave Detector 'Einstein Telescope'
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary, covering several aspects of fundamental physics, astrophysics and engineering. The outputs are too many to list here, but can be identified in the output list.
Start Year 2008
 
Title Interferometer simulation software FINESSE 
Description FINESSE is a fast and easy to use interferometer simulation to design and debug laser interferometers. We wanted to be able to simulate many different user-defined optical setups and we would like to playfully teach and learn more about laser optics. FINESSE has a long pedigree and has benefited from years of real-life employment by the optics groups of gravitational wave detectors. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2016 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact FINESSE is used by all gravitional wave detector groups world wide. It has been cited in more than 100 scientific reports and papers. The new update of FINESSE released this year includes important new features related to radiation pressure and quantum noise, which are crucial for the design of upgrades to current detecors and designing future detectors, both activities are priorities of the community at the moment. 
URL http://www.gwoptics.org/finesse/
 
Description Cutting edge science in the clas room 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact RCUK funded event centered around engaging teachers with the cutting edge science we do in our research and how they can bring this knowledge into their classrooms. We hosted a dedicated event on gravitional waves.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Annual General Meeting of Federation of Astronomical Societies, public talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Invited talk on graviaitonal wave astronomy at the Annual General Meeting of Federation of Astronomical Societies, by Prof. Andreas Freise.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Ebook on graviational waves 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Editor of a unique text collection on gravitational wave science, translated into 5 languages, discussing the basic working principle of interferometric gravitational wave detectors.

The ebook is the first such publication describing in simple words how the new type of instrument works. The translation into Spanish and Chinese in particular has reached a completely new audience. The page has on average 70 visitors per day.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013,2014
URL http://www.gwoptics.org/ebook
 
Description Educational computer games 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Development of two completely new computer games (Black Hole Pong) and gravitational wave detection (Space Time Quest). In the first year after its release Space Time Quest achieved 10,000 downloads and Black Hole Pong close to 5000

The games have been used internationally at many science fairs and events and are always a focal point especially for younger children.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2011,2012,2013,2014
URL http://www.gwoptics.org/processing/space_time_quest/
 
Description Girls in STEM, University of Birmingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Organising and hosting a 'Grabitational Waves Workshop' for the Girls in STEM day at the University of Birmingham. Classes from two local school attended.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Gravitational wave demonstration project with Aston University Engineering Academy 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact We are working with Aston University Engineering Academy, a local high school in Birmingham on a design and build project. The students are using CAD to design and build their own gravitational wave demonstration to show the merger of a binary system. This is a long term project with a group of A-level students and their physics teachers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017
 
Description Gravitational wave event and talks at British Science Festical 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Hands-on activities and talks led to larger number of online visitors to our web presence and interactive games.

Feedback forms were taken after the activities with 80% of students said that they were more likely to study science than before.

I had several email request for more information about graviational wave research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity
 
Description Gravitational wave talk for Physics Partners charity at King Edward's School Birmingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The Physics Partners charity organised events to promote further study in Physics. This event was organised by a local school in involved students from several school within the region.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description IOP Evening Lecture, University of Birmingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public IOP Evening Lecture, University of Birmingham by Andreas Freise on "Gravitational waves, from detection to astronomy"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/physics/outreach/Secondary-Schools/IOPEveningLectures.aspx
 
Description IOP Evening Lecture, University of Nottingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact IOP Evening Lecture, University of Nottingham, public talk on Gravitationl Wave Astronomy by Prof. Andreas Freise
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description IOP Physics Big Day Out 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Contributed a talk and workshop for the IOP Physics Big Day Out - a day for school teachers to hear about science and get ideas of demonstrations possible in the classroom. We talked about gravitational waves and the first detection and demonstrated gravity, interferometers, gravitational lensing with the use of hands on demonstrations and free computer games.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Keynote talk at PyData London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Keynote talk on the discovery of gravitational waves and the use of the Python language in the LIGO collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.gwoptics.org/talks/2016/pydata/
 
Description Meet the Expert at Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A "Meet the Expert" day at the Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum. People from the region visiting the museum can have a go at hands-on demonstrations explaining how gravitational wave detectors work, the bending of space-time in general relativity and gravitational lensing. They can also have a go at playing free apps and games developed by people in our Gravitational Wave Group (https://www.laserlabs.org/)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2016
 
Description Meet the expert event at the Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A special event to celebrate 100 years of Einstein's theory of general relativity. Again, we used part of our exhibition material about gravitational wave detectors and provided 'experts' for a one day event in the local science museum.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Oxford University Student Society, public talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Oxford University Student Society, public talk by Prof Andreas Freise.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Radio Interview, Burn FM 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Interview with regional radion Burn FM on the discovery of gravitational waves with Prof. Andreas Freise.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://howesthat.org.uk/radio-show/2016/11/6/show-4-space-week
 
Description Radio interview, 'Have Your Say' - BBC World Service GW special 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A 1 hour special on the gravitational wave detection that included Anna Green, the student funded by the project , as an expert from Birmingham.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03hk00n
 
Description Stand at the Big Bang Science and Engineering fair in Birmingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public fair for science and engineering. We supported a stand that showed part of our exhibition 'finding black holes with lasers', that has activties to explain graviaitonal wave detectors.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Talk at Astronomical Society Leeds 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A typical outreach talk at a reginal meeting of a astronomical society.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description TedX Event in Birmingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We hosted an exhibition and gave a talk on the first detection of graviational waves at the locally organised TedX event in Birmingham. The local audience is 800. Following the philisophy of TED talks, the main aim was to produce a 12 minutes long video which spreads the topic way beyond the local audience. Our two messages were: you don't need to be Einstein to do interesting and impotant work, and sometimes it takes collaboration and dedication to discover new facts.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016