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Towards the observation of the radiation pressure noise in a suspended interferometer : the QuRaG experiment

Abstract : The existence of gravitational waves (GW) is one of the most interesting predictions of the theory of general relativity of Einstein. The experimental discovery of GW would be an important test of the theory itself. In addition, the detection of GW will open a new window of observation especially in those regions of the Universe inaccessible to electromagnetic observations. Interferometers, as Virgo are the most promising devices for the detection of GW. Currently, the sensitivity of these detectors is not yet sufficient to have a detection rate of few events/year. Therefore, an intense experimental program to improve the sensitivity is underway. Specifically, the sensitivity of the next generations of GW detectors, at low frequencies, will be limited by the effect of the radiation pressure (RP) on the suspended mirrors. This phenomenon not yet observed experimentally in the ground based GW detectors band, is currently the subject of a very active research field. My work presented here aims at building a detector for studying quantum effects of RP in GW detectors: the QuRaG experiment. It will consist of a suspended Michelson interferometer where each arm will be a high finesse Fabry-Pérot cavity, in which only the end mirror will be further suspended and then sensitive to the RP noise. During my PhD I have actively participated to the R&D of all QuRaG subsystems. Therefore, the work that I have done deals with various aspects of the project whose related problems belong to different domains of physics. My work described in this manuscript demonstrates that QuRaG is realizable and that it will be able to observe the RP noise in the expected frequency range.
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Sibilla Di Pace. Towards the observation of the radiation pressure noise in a suspended interferometer : the QuRaG experiment. Other [cond-mat.other]. Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, 2014. English. ⟨NNT : 2014NICE4108⟩. ⟨tel-01170076⟩

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