Innovative perspectives for seismic isolation of gravitational-wave detectors

Di Fronzo, Chiara (2022). Innovative perspectives for seismic isolation of gravitational-wave detectors. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The discovery of gravitational waves opened a new way to look at the Universe and offered new opportunities to shed light on the still unknown aspects of physical sciences. The work presented in this thesis wants to give a contribution to the development of this new type of research: the author chose to focus on the improvement of the instruments able to detect the gravitational waves. This field is important to make the detectors more sensitive, in order to see more gravitational-wave sources and help to complete the mosaic of the astrophysical science. In particular, the detectors currently in use are interferometers, which are especially blind in a range of frequency below 30 Hz: this affects the chance to detect sources emitting in this frequency band.
This lack of sensitivity is mainly due to seismic motion, and the work presented in this thesis focussed on new techniques to lower the noise sources and allow the instruments to be sensitive below 30 Hz. During the studies, the development and test of devices capable of potentially reducing the seismic motion have been performed, such as optical levers for tilt motion reduction and laser stabilization for low frequency readout; a new concept of the seismic system on one of the interferometers (LIGO) has also been proposed.
The optical levers can in principle reduce tilt motion below 1 Hz; the use of capacitive position sensors in a new software configuration for LIGO can help to suppress ground motion by a factor of 3 in order of magnitude below 0.1 Hz. A competitive frequency stabilization to 3.6 times 10\(^{3}\) \(Hz\sqrt{Hz}\) at 1 Hz for readout at low frequency is possible with a compact and easy to handle setup. These results are promising to provide suppression of the seismic motion in the bandwidth of interest and show that it is possible for a ground-based instrument to be seismically more stable and capable of detecting gravitational waves where it is now forbidden.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Physics and Astronomy
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics


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