16. Reducing Laser Frequency Noise with a Reference Cavity

Alexandria Weesner Indiana University South Bend, Benjamin Zachary , Torrey Cullen Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge, Jonathan Cripe Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge
Faculty Sponsor(s): Thomas Corbitt Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge
The Laser Interferometry Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) is currently limited by quantum noise, which must be reduced in order to make finer and more numerous detections of gravitational waves from cataclysmic events that have happened in the Universe. A secondary experiment exists, located at LSU’s Quantum Optics Lab ( a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration), in which quantum noise can be singled out from other noise sources to be studied and to test techniques for reducing it. However, noises from sources other than quantum noise are still significant, making it difficult to test the techniques for reducing quantum noise. So, these other noise sources first need to be reduced. This project details the purpose, design, construction, and the results and effectiveness of a Fabry-Perot frequency reference cavity that reduces the amount of laser frequency noise (LFN) in this secondary experiment. By locking the laser’s frequency to the reference cavity using the Pound-Drever-Hall technique, the amount of LFN can be reduced to fall below the standard quantum limit, making it easier to study and test techniques for reducing quantum noise in LIGO.
Physics & Astronomy
Poster Presentation

When & Where

Irwin Library Lower Level