Perreca, Antonio (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
General relativity describes gravity as the curvature of space-time. The theory predicts the existence of gravitational waves (GWs), which can be described as ripples in space-time propagating at the speed of light. So far no direct detection of GWs has been achieved. The sensitivities of the currently leading laser interferometric GW detectors are limited by various noise sources, i.e. seismic, thermal, shot noises etc. Several conceptual studies are underway investigating new techniques that aim to improve sensitivities enough to fulfil the requirements of the next generation of detectors. One of these new techniques under investigation is displacement and frequency noise free interferometry (DFI). This thesis reports on the experimental demonstration of a new method of partial DFI that is effective in the GW detection frequency band. The isolation of a mimicked GW signal from displacement noise of one mirror is demonstrated for a detuned Fabry-Perot cavity. A significant reduction in the displacement noise of the cavity input mirror was achieved by properly combining the reflected and transmitted signals from the cavity. This result represents the first experimental demonstration of this recently proposed DFI scheme, and lays the foundations for future work aimed at implementing DFI schemes in up-coming laser interferometric GW detectors.
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