ACP Seminar (Astronomy - Cosmology - Particle Physics)

Speaker: Surjeet Rajendran (MIT)
Title: Gravitational Wave Detection with Atom Interferometry
Date: Mon, Dec 14, 2009, 13:30 - 15:00
Place: Seminar Room at IPMU Prefab. B
Related File: 181.pdf
Abstract: We propose two distinct atom interferometer gravitational wave detectors, one
terrestrial and another satellite-based, utilizing the core technology of the
Stanford 10 m atom interferometer presently under construction. The
terrestrial experiment can operate with strain sensitivity ~10^(-19)/sqrt(Hz)
in the 1 Hz - 10 Hz band, inaccessible to LIGO, and can detect gravitational
waves from solar mass binaries out to megaparsec distances. The satellite
experiment probes the same frequency spectrum as LISA with better strain
sensitivity ~10^(-20)/sqrt(Hz). Each configuration compares two widely
separated atom interferometers run using common lasers. The effect of the
gravitational waves on the propagating laser field produces the main effect in
this configuration and enables a large enhancement in the gravitational wave
signal while significantly suppressing many backgrounds. The use of ballistic
atoms (instead of mirrors) as inertial test masses improves systematics coming
from vibrations and acceleration noise, and reduces spacecraft control
Contact: Takahashi