LIGO Document G1702159-v2

The role of vacuum technology in discovering gravitational waves from merging black holes and neutron stars.

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G - Presentations (eg Graphics)
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The observation of the gravitational waves from the merger of black holes and neutron stars involved measuring the motion of mirrors to a precision of 1e-18 meters over a distance of 4 km. The measurement was made by optical interferometry between suspended mirrors. Vacuum of 1e-9 torr was required in 1.2 meter diameter 4km long beam tubes to avoid phase noise of the light and equivalently high vacuum was needed to avoid thermal noise of the mirrors from molecular collisions. The residual hydrocarbon background had to be controlled to avoid contamination of the optics. A significant challenge was to design and construct the vacuum system economically. Some of the fundamental physics and the engineering of the system will be described.
Files in Document:
  • pdf (Zucker_AVS64-G1701259-v2.pdf, 95.4 MB)
Other Files:
  • pptx (Zucker_AVS64-G1701259-v2.pptx, 186.5 MB)

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