Department of Applied Physics and Materials Science - Materials Science

Materials Science Research Lecture

Wednesday October 7, 2020 4:00 PM

The Materials Limits(?) of Gravitational Wave Detection

Speaker: Rana Adhikari, Physics, California Institute of Technology

Webinar Link:

Webinar ID: 957 0877 2987


Caltech has been working on gravitational-wave physics since the late 60's. The LIGO project, led by Caltech, made the first detection of gravitational radiation in 2015, and has detected the merger of over 50 binary black holes since then. Making the next big leap in the sensitivity of these large laser interferometers will require the use of non-classical states of light with long coherence times. The Fluctuation-Dissipation theorem describes how the noise in these experiments is related to the optical and mechanical dissipation of the measurement apparatus (crystalline silicon, amorphous thin films, and high power optical resonators). Solving these terrestrial materials problems may lead to finally being able to explore the "acousto" elastic properties of spacetime.

More about the speaker:

Prof. Rana Adhikari is an experimental physicist based at the California Institute of Technology. He has been working on the LIGO interferometers for ~20 years and is an encyclopedia of noise. In recent years his group has focused on applying the quantum metrology for the measurement of gravitational waves and the use of low loss materials with an eye towards the mysteries of the black hole horizon and the anelastic properties of spacetime.

Series Materials Research Lecture Series

Contact: Jennifer Blankenship