New laser breakthrough to help understand gravitational waves

gravitational waves

A supercomputer simulation of merging black holes that sends out gravitational waves. Credit: NASA/C. Haines

Gravitational wave scientists from the University of Western Australia have led the development of a new laser position sensor with unprecedented accuracy that will be used to examine the interiors of neutron stars and test the fundamental limits of general relativity.

UWA has coordinated a global gravitational wave collaboration, said research associate from the University of Western Australia’s (OzGrav-UWA) Center of Excellence for the Detection of Gravitational Waves (OzGrav-UWA), Dr Aaron Jones. metasurface and photonics experts to devise a new method for measuring light structures called “automodes”.

Gravitational wave detectors such as LIGO, Virgo and KAGRA store an enormous amount of visual power Several pairs of mirrors are used to increase the amount of laser light stored along the massive arms of the detector.”

“However, both of these pairs are small distortions It scatters light away from the ideal shape of the laser beam, which may cause excessive noise in the detector, reducing sensitivity and making the detector offline.

“We wanted to test an idea that would allow us to scale up laser beam And look for small “vibrations” in strength that can limit the sensitivity of the detectors. ”

Dr. Jones said a similar problem has been encountered in the telecom industry as scientists are looking for ways to use multiple autocodes to transmit more data over optical fibers.

“Communication scientists have developed a way to measure autocodes using a simple device, but it’s not sensitive enough for our purposes,” he said. “We had the idea of ​​using the supersurface – an ultra-thin surface with a special pattern encoded in sub-wavelength size – and we reached out to collaborators who could help us make one.”

The team’s proof-of-concept setup was 1,000 times more sensitive than the original device developed by communications scientists, and researchers will now look to translate this work into gravitational wave detectors.

OzGrav-UWA’s chief researcher, Associate Professor Chunnong Zhao, said evolution is another step forward in discovering and analyzing the information it carries. gravitational wavesallowing us to observe the universe in new ways.

“Solving the pattern sensing problem in future gravitational wave detectors is essential if we are to understand the insides neutron stars Associate Professor Zhao said:

The study has been accepted for publication in A . physical review.

Interactive Gravitational Wave Detection Model Designed for Education in Museums and Galleries

more information:
Metasurface Enhanced Spatial Mode Decomposition, arXiv: 2109.04663v2 [physics.optics]

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