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Center for Astrophysics Research and Technologies Seminar Series Information


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Quantum Measurement and Gravitational-Wave Detection

Friday March 3, 2017
4:00 pm

 Presenter:  Professor Yanbei Chen, Department of Physics, California Institute of Technology
 Series:  Physics and Astronomy Colloquium
 Abstract:  After the initial detection of gravitational waves, further improvements of detector sensitivity will be crucial for future progress in gravitational-wave astronomy. At this moment, using laser interferometry, LIGO detectors are able to sense gravitational-wave-induced displacements of 40-kg test masses at the level of 10^-18 meters, within a time scale of ~ 10 milliseconds. This is close to the so-called Standard Quantum Limit, which arises from the trade-off between displacement sensitivity and measurement-induced back action onto momentum --- as dictated by the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, when applied to LIGO's macroscopic test masses. This also means these macroscopic objects are starting to behave quantum mechanically. In next-generation detectors, the SQL can be circumvented over a broad frequency band by injecting frequency-dependent squeezed vacuum. More advanced techniques are being conceived to improve detector sensitivity more dramatically.
 Location:  Room 125, Dane Smith Hall

Refreshments will be available before the colloquium, at 03:45 pm, in the lobby of Dane Smith Hall.

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