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Three affiliates of Missouri S&T’s Institute of Multimessenger Astrophysics and Cosmology are among the collaborators of a quantum optics paper published in the journal Nature on July 1. They are part of a growing scientific pursuit to make the detection techniques of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) increasingly more efficient and sensitive.
Dripta Bhattacharjee, a Ph.D. student; Dr. Sudarshan Karki, a post-doctoral researcher; and Dr. Evan Goetz, former post-doctoral researcher, all in S&T’s physics department, contributed to an experimental study titled “Quantum correlations between light and the kilogram-mass mirrors of LIGO.” The study confirmed that the quantum mechanical uncertainty measured in LIGO actually surpasses the “standard quantum limit” imposed by physics’ Heisenberg uncertainty principle.
Bhattacharjee and Sudarshan are currently working at the LIGO in Hanford, Washington, where they helped measure the differential displacement of the interferometer arms. Goetz, who also worked at the LIGO site, is now a research associate at the University of British Columbia.
The researchers’ finding, based on quantum measurements obtained from the Advanced LIGO detectors’ 200-kilowatt laser beams and positioned with their 40-kilogram mirrors, is anticipated to improve the future observation of gravitational waves and quantum noise-limited measurements.