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MSE Program

Physical Science Bldg. 210

Department 3905

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307.766.2862

Fax: 307.766.2652

Email: mse@uwyo.edu

LIGO and the “Fundamental” Limits to Physical Measurements

May 4, 2018

Date: Friday, May 4

Time: 4:10pm (reception and snacks at 4pm)

Location: CR 306

Speaker: Stan Whitcomb, LIGO: the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory

Title of Talk: LIGO and the “Fundamental” Limits to Physical Measurements

Since the first direct detection of gravitational waves by the LIGO detectors on September 14, 2015, the main hoopla has (justifiably!) been about how the results support Einstein's Theory of General Relativity and the impact of gravitational waves on our understanding of astrophysics.

However, there is another side to this story. The success of LIGO required measurements of extraordinary sensitivity, reaching close to what many would consider fundamental limits of measurement. I will describe two of these (the quantum limits, and thermal noise), including how LIGO has dealt with these in the past and the efforts underway to push even further.


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MSE Program

Physical Science Bldg. 210

Department 3905

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307.766.2862

Fax: 307.766.2652

Email: mse@uwyo.edu

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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