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Active wavefront correction in laser interferometric gravitational wave detectors

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dc.contributor.advisor Rainer Weiss. en_US Lawrence, Ryan Christopher, 1975- en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Physics. en_US 2005-10-14T19:46:30Z 2005-10-14T19:46:30Z 2003 en_US 2003 en_US
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Physics, 2003. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 239-243). en_US
dc.description.abstract As the first generation of laser interferometric gravitational wave detectors near operation, research and development has begun on increasing the instrument's sensitivity while utilizing existing infrastructure. In the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO), significant improvements are being planned for installation in 2007 to increase the sensitivity to test mass displacement, hence sensitivity to gravitational wave strain, by improved suspensions and test mass substrates, active seismic isolation, and higher input laser power. Even with the highest quality optics available today, however, finite absorption of laser power within transmissive optics, coupled with the tremendous amount of optical power circulating in various parts of the interferometer, result in critical wavefront deformations which will cripple the performance of the instrument. Discussed is a method of active wavefront correction via direct thermal actuation on optical elements of the interferometer; or, "thermally adaptive optics". A simple nichrome heating element suspended off the face of an affected optic will, through radiative heating, remove the gross axisymmetric part of the original thermal distortion. A scanning heating laser- will then be used to remove any remaining non-axisymmetric wavefront distortion, generated by inhomogeneities in the substrate's absorption, thermal conductivity, etc. This work includes a quantitative analysis of both techniques of thermal compensation, as well as the results of a proof-of-principle experiment which verified the technical feasibility of each technique. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Ryan Christopher Lawrence. en_US
dc.format.extent 243 p. en_US
dc.format.extent 9323299 bytes
dc.format.extent 9323106 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.subject Physics. en_US
dc.title Active wavefront correction in laser interferometric gravitational wave detectors en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Physics. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 52569574 en_US

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