2004 Aspen winter conference on gravitational waves

and their detection (GWADW)

Syd Meshkov, Caltech syd-at-ligo.caltech.edu
The 2004 Aspen Winter Conference on Gravitational Waves and their Detection (GWADW) was held at the Aspen Center for Physics, Aspen, Colorado, Feb. 15-21, 2004. The subtitle was ``Advancing Gravitational Wave Detectors: Pushing the Quantum Limits". The special goal of this workshop was to consider novel Gravitational Wave detectors beyond the concepts used in Advanced LIGO and other future interferometers and bars. Particular emphasis was placed on various methods that approach and exceed the quantum limit, as, for example, with Quantum Non Demolition (QND).

As usual for the Aspen conferences, each day of the workshop consisted of about six hours of scheduled talks and discussion as well as scheduled workshop interactions. The nature of the housing, with all participants living and dining under the same roof, at the Aspen Meadows, encouraged extensive opportunities for informal scientific exchange. In addition, a public lecture was given on Wednesday, February 18, 2004 at the Wheeler Opera House by Mark Coles (NSF), entitled , ``The Universe... Live and in concert".

The opening session, chaired by Nergis Mavalvala and entitled, ``Pushing the Quantum Limits" , set the tone for the workshop. It started with a talk by Nergis on ``Quantum Noise, Quantum Correlations and the Standard Quantum Limit in GW Interferometers" . This was followed by provocative talks by Yanbei Chen on ``Various Ways of Beating the Standard Quantum Limit", and by T. Corbitt who discussed ``A Quantum noise simulation network". These talks stimulated lots of discussion in the auditorium, on the slopes and at dinner.

Following a discussion by Richard Matzner on ``Constrained Evolution: Concepts and New Results" , in a short session on Relevant Astrophysical Sources, the subject of Techniques Addressing Quantum Noise occupied the next few sessions. Ric DeSalvo discussed the virtues of going underground in ``Mining for Gravitational Waves". Incidentally, Going Underground is one of the two subtopics for the 2005 GWADW Meeting in Aspen. K. Somiya proposed an ``RF Readout scheme to Overcome the SQL", In the first of two talks on Squeezed Light, R. Schnabel discussed a ``Demonstration of Squeezed Light at Sideband Frequencies below 100kH and T. Corbitt informed us about ``A Ponderomotive Squeezed Vacuum Source".

Sessions on The Status of Existing Detectors followed. M. Cerdonio told us about ``Wideband Operation of Upgraded Auriga', A. Gretarsson reported on the staus of LIGO, B. Willke on the status of GEO 600, E. Tournefier on the status of Virgo, and S. Sato reported both on the status of TAMA and of a data taking run. A series of talks on next generation detectors followed. Advanced LIGO was discussed by D. Ottaway, and K. Kuroda informed us about the current staus of LCGT and CLIO. B. Willke discussed Lasers for Advanced Interferometers and M. Cerdonio reported on progress on the feasibility of DUAL. At this point, late Wednesday, Feb. 18, Stan Whitcomb led a discussion on what should drive the rest of the workshop. Such a discussion has become a feature of this very interactive workshop, and resulted in the talks that were eventually scheduled for the Summary session on Saturday morning. Norna Robertson reported on the suspension design for Advanced LIGO and R. DeSalvo discoursed on ``Bodies in Motion'.

A session on LISA followed. M. Tinto told us about a scheme for optimal filtering of LISA data, R. Spero discussed ST7 Interferometer Development, and M. te Plate described the LISA Test Package (LTP), the Optical Bench system, and the LTP Inertial Sensor System.

Inasmuch as we are finally taking data, Stan Whitcomb reported on results from LIGO and GEO Science runs. E. Majorana then talked on ``Suspended Mirror Control: Learning through Virgo Experience". The next few sessions were devoted to advances in critical areas, and to lowering the sensitivity floor. These included some more LISA oriented talks such as given by D. Shaddock, who talked about the LISA Optical Bench, and a round table organized by A. Ruediger on ``One-Arm Locking of LISA". The participants, in addition to Ruediger, were D. Shaddock, I. Thorpe, and M. Tinto. RSE was another important subject. Beyersdork talked about implementing RSE via polarization control, S. Kawamura talked about the current status of the 40m Detuned RSE Prototype, and K. Somiya updated us on RSE in Japan.

In other talks, P. Beyersdorf talked about Technical Noise in QND and R. Mittleman discussed progress in the important LIGO Livingston Seismic Upgrade. M. Rakhmanov talked about how to measure the Dynamic responses of the LIGO 4 km Fabry-Perot Arm Cavities. Y. Aso discussed the Suspension Point Interferometer.

The workshop concluded with a discussion of ``Important Questions" raised during the Wednesday morning discussion led by Whitcomb. W. Johnson explored the use of Bigger Masses and R. DeSalvo examined the role of Gravity Gradients. F. Vetrano had the last word in his discussion of the role of Atom Interferometry.


Jorge Pullin 2004-09-10