LIGO Document G1000029-v1

Gravitational Waves and Precision Measurement

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Invited lecture re LIGO at the Univ. of North Carolina Center for Precision Metrology in Charlotte, NC. aLIGO can measure the strain in the metric of the universe caused by gravitational warping of space-time of 2.5 E-24. That corresponds to a relative length mesurement of the interferometer arms with a precision of 1E-20 m. Sophisticated servo control systems, mechanical isolation systems, low-loss material development, optical engineering, and optical metrology of mirror surfaces are a few of the important technologies involved in this new branch of experimental physics.
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