Thermal Loading and Modal Frequency Degeneracy in Optical Resonators for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO).

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ProQuest, 2009 - 115 pages
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A Fabry-Perot ring cavity known as a modecleaner uses calibrated absorption loss to measure the effects of high circulating power similar to what will be observed in resonant systems for Advanced LIGO. An additional modecleaner with low absorption loss is also tested. Results show that power coupling from the fundamental mode to frequency-degenerate higher-order modes significantly degrades the resonant fundamental mode necessary for gravitational-wave detection. Models of thermal distortion including thermal lensing and thermoelastic surface deformation are used to simulate the behavior of various resonant interferometer configurations. Comparisons between modal frequency degeneracy data and simulations are found to be in reasonable agreement, allowing degeneracy predictions for LIGO resonators most susceptible to thermal loading. Finally, mitigation of thermal effects is discussed, as well as solutions for designing interferometers utilizing power levels greater than those of Advanced LIGO.
  

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Contents

Acknowledgements
1
Simulation of laserinduced thermal distortions
11
Thermal loading experiment
41
Predictions for future LIGO resonators
73
Conclusion
91
an interferometer simulation program
99
Mirror and beamspitter diagram
102
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