Seminar Schedule

Find upcoming seminars below. All talks are also announced via our mailing list and are also available via a google calendar (ical). Previous talks as well as a copy of the slides will be made available for the foreseeable future on the VIDEOS page.

Thu 2021-10-07 17:00 CEST

Quantum Science Seminar #58: Gravitational Waves
Sheila Rowan
University of Glasgow
Glasgow — United Kingdom
Gravitational wave observatories: km-scale 'quantum sensors'
In September 2015 the twin `Advanced LIGO' observatories enabled the first direct detection of gravitational waves from astrophysical sources. The waves detected originated from the collision and merger of two black holes 1.3 billion light years from earth. This detection marked the start of new field of gravitational astrophysics, in the 100th anniversary year of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. The observatories operate by using laser interferometry to search for the tiny changes in the relative positions of the suspended optics in a Michelson-type interferometer, induced by the passage of gravitational waves. This talk will describe the technologies developed to reach the threshold of first detection and outline the research directions being pursued to increase the operating sensitivity of the detectors - where quantum effects form an important noise source in the instruments.