Advanced LIGO Operations flat funding extension

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy


LIGO is the worlds most sensitive network of interferometers dedicated to the study of gravitational waves (GWs). The detectors made the first direct detection of GWs in 2015, and a large number of inspiral events have since been observed involving neutron stars and black holes. The sensitivity of the detectors is currently thought to be limited by the consequences of scattering of impurities / inclusions on the surfaces of the end mirrors in the interferometer arms. Our LIGO Operations work is focused on investigating these problems, in collaboration with scientists at Caltech, and in seeing if the estimated magnitude of the scattering effects is compatible with the levels of interferometer effects seen in the actual machines, both through direct laboratory measurements and through a programme of simulations. The work is in collaboration with postdoctoral researcher Tega Edo, who is moving to Caltech, but who was previously a postdoctoral researcher at Sheffield.


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