Precision interferometry in a new shape: higher-order Laguerre-Gauss modes for gravitational wave detection

Fulda, Paul (2012). Precision interferometry in a new shape: higher-order Laguerre-Gauss modes for gravitational wave detection. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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The sensitivity of the next generation of interferometric gravitational wave detectors will be limited in part by thermal noises of the optics. It has been proposed that using higher-order Laguerre-Gauss (LG) beams in the interferometers can reduce this noise. This thesis documents progress made in assessing the compatibility of higher-order LG beam technology with the existing precision interferometry framework used in the gravitational wave detector community. A numerical investigation was made into techniques for generating higher-order LG modes with a phase modulating surface. The optimal conditions for mode conversion were determined using fast Fourier transform (FFT) simulations, and predictions were made for the mode purity achievable with this method. Table-top experiments performed at Birmingham demonstrated the generation of higher-order LG modes using a spatial light modulator, and showed for the first time the feedback control of an optical cavity on resonance for higher-order LG modes. An increase in the purity of LG\(_{33}\) modes from 51% to over 99% upon transmission through the cavity was shown. Investigations were carried out at the Glasgow 10m prototype detector into the performance of the LG\(_{33}\) mode in a suspended 10m cavity, providing useful insights into the compatibility of LG modes with larger scale interferometers.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
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
T Technology > T Technology (General)


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