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Astronomy Seminar

Current status and future of the LIGO detectors

Speaker: Dr. Denis Martynov (University of Birmingham)
Date: Wednesday 25 April 2018
Time: 14:00
Venue: Queens Buildings N/3.28

Gravitational waves from black hole and neutron star binaries have recently been directly observed by the LIGO and Virgo detectors. These interferometers were designed to be sensitive to gravitational waves in the frequency range from 10 Hz up to a few kHz. The low frequency band (< 30 Hz) is particularly important to study intermediate mass black holes (with masses of ∼ 103 M_sol ) and reduce uncertainty intervals of the estimated source parameters. The high frequency band (> 500 Hz) contains information about the neutron star equation of state. In order to observe the 22 mode of the oscillating neutron star which is 100 Mpc away, terrestrial gravitational wave detectors need to have the sensitivity of ∼ 10−24/ sqHz at 2-3 kHz. In this talk, I will discuss new technology required to improve LIGO sensitivity at low and high frequencies. I will also discuss astrophysical motivations for this upgrade.