Experimental Limits on Gravitational Waves in the MHz frequency Range
This thesis presents the results of a search for gravitational waves in the 1-11MHz frequency range using dual power-recycled Michelson laser interferometers at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. An unprecedented level of sensitivity to gravitational waves in this frequency range has been achieved by cross-correlating the output fluctuations of two identical and colocated 40m long interferometers. This technique produces sensitivities better than two orders of magnitude below the quantum shot-noise limit, within integration times of less than 1 hour. 95% confidence level upper limits are placed on the strain amplitude of MHz frequency gravitational waves at the 10-21 Hz-1/2 level, constituting the best direct limits to date at these frequencies. For gravitational wave power distributed over this frequency range, a broadband upper limit of 2.4 x 10-21Hz-1/2 at 95% confidence level is also obtained. This thesis covers the detector technology, the commissioning and calibration of the instrument, the statistical data analysis, and the gravitational wave limit results. Particular attention is paid to the end-to-end calibration of the instrument’s sensitivity to differential arm length motion, and so to gravitational wave strain. A detailed statistical analysis of the data is presented as well.
- Publication Date:
- OSTI Identifier:
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- DOE Contract Number:
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- Research Org:
- Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
- Sponsoring Org:
- USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
- Country of Publication:
- United States
- 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS
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