24 November 2016 Precision requirements and innovative manufacturing for ultrahigh precision laser interferometry of gravitational-wave astronomy
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Abstract
With the LIGO announcement of the first direct detection of gravitational waves (GWs), the GW Astronomy was formally ushered into our age. After one-hundred years of theoretical investigation and fifty years of experimental endeavor, this is a historical landmark not just for physics and astronomy, but also for industry and manufacturing. The challenge and opportunity for industry is precision and innovative manufacturing in large size – production of large and homogeneous optical components, optical diagnosis of large components, high reflectance dielectric coating on large mirrors, manufacturing of components for ultrahigh vacuum of large volume, manufacturing of high attenuating vibration isolation system, production of high-power high-stability single-frequency lasers, production of high-resolution positioning systems etc. In this talk, we address the requirements and methods to satisfy these requirements. Optical diagnosis of large optical components requires large phase-shifting interferometer; the 1.06 μm Phase Shifting Interferometer for testing LIGO optics and the recently built 24” phase-shifting Interferometer in Chengdu, China are examples. High quality mirrors are crucial for laser interferometric GW detection, so as for ring laser gyroscope, high precision laser stabilization via optical cavities, quantum optomechanics, cavity quantum electrodynamics and vacuum birefringence measurement. There are stringent requirements on the substrate materials and coating methods. For cryogenic GW interferometer, appropriate coating on sapphire or silicon are required for good thermal and homogeneity properties. Large ultrahigh vacuum components and high attenuating vibration system together with an efficient metrology system are required and will be addressed. For space interferometry, drag-free technology and weak-light manipulation technology are must. Drag-free technology is well-developed. Weak-light phase locking is demonstrated in the laboratories while weak-light manipulation technology still needs developments.
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Wei-Tou Ni, Sen Han, Tao Jin, "Precision requirements and innovative manufacturing for ultrahigh precision laser interferometry of gravitational-wave astronomy", Proc. SPIE 10023, Optical Metrology and Inspection for Industrial Applications IV, 100230F (24 November 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2246275; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2246275
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