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LIGO: At the forefront of optical materials research

Stephen C. McGuire
Professor and Chair
Department of Physics
Southern University and A&M College

LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, is now operational and seeks to improve its sensitivity for gravity-wave detection by a factor of ten during its next phase of operation. In order to achieve this goal, it is necessary to design and fabricate test mass mirrors that help minimize the noise in the interferometers and, in so doing, maximize gravity-wave detection capability. Following a brief update of the LIGO experiment, our program of research in optical materials for use in advanced versions of the interferometers will be described.

Anyone outside NIST wishing to attend must be sponsored by a NIST employee and receive a visitor badge. For more information, call Kum J. Ham at 301-975-4203.

Colloquia are videotaped and available in the NIST Research Library.

Created October 26, 2009, Updated January 3, 2017