Lecturer: Harry Ward
Hours Equivalent Credit: 16
Assessment: Assignment Questions and Oral Examination
This course is for students
interested in the physics of gravitational wave detection. Starting from
the fundamentals of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, the wave
nature of weak field spacetime curvature perturbations will be derived
in the transverse traceless gauge. Interactions of gravitational
radiation with matter will be explored, leading to the basic principles
of gravitational wave detectors.
A full description of currently operating detectors will include instrumental noise sources, such as thermal, seismic, optical, and the standard quantum limit. Current topics discussed will include squeezing, and other non-classical light techniques for reducing optical noise in interferometric systems.
Astrophysical sources of gravitational waves will be discussed, including expectations for source strengths from coalescing compact binary systems, pulsars, etc. togethre with a discussion of the data analysis techniques that are required for signal extraction and parameter estimation.
An update will be given on
the new astrophysics that has been deduced from the gravitational wave
signals so far observed, and the promise of future "multi-messenger
astronomy" will be explored.
Plans for future detectors on the ground and in space will also be presented.