Interactions of light and mirrors: advanced techniques for modelling future gravitational wave detectors

Brown, Daniel David (2016). Interactions of light and mirrors: advanced techniques for modelling future gravitational wave detectors. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The second generation of ground based interferometric gravitational wave detectors, offering ten times the sensitivity of their predecessors, are now just beginning to come online. With these fully operational the community expects that within the next few years we will finally observe the first direct detection of a gravitational wave. The effectiveness of numerical modelling of realistic systems for design and improvements is in many cases limited by the computation time. I have investigated the use of a reduced-order quadrature technique to reduce the computational cost of calculating spatial overlap integrals of Hermite-Gaussian mode. This significant reduction allows for new parameter spaces to be efficiently explored. One of the challenges in the design of future gravitational wave detectors are unstable mechanical oscillations of the test masses: also known as parametric instabilities. I have shown a new method to reduce these parametric instabilities by using purely optical means. Finally, the susceptibility of waveguide grating mirrors to lateral displacement phase shifts coupling in to the reflected beam was investigated. It was demonstrated using a finite-difference time-domain model to solve Maxwell’s equations that such a coupling does not affect waveguide grating mirrors.

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 > QC Physics


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