School of Physics and Astrophysics

Postgraduate research profiles


Carl Blair

Phone: (+61 8) 6488 1263

Start date

Mar 2013

Submission date

Mar 2016

Carl Blair


Opto-mechanical Interactions in large laser cavities


Gravitation wave detectors will soon reach sensitivities of 10^-24 Hz^-0.5. To reach these sensitivities in the 100Hz band detectors must be very large, in the kilometers scale, and must store huge amounts of optical power, in the region of megawatts. It has been postulated that such detector geometries may be prone to opto-mechanical interactions that could be at worst destructive the measurement process or at best detrimental to the signal to noise ratio of the detectors. My project involves an investigation of the opto-mechanical interactions that may be responsible for such stability issues in gravitational wave detectors. My research will be performed at the High Optical Power Test Facility (HOPTF) at the Australian International Gravity-wave Observatory (AIGO), Gingin. I will be continuing the work of Jean-Charles Dumas on the control of the vibration isolation control systems and working in conjunction with my supervisor and Fanq Qi on experiments to probe opto-accoustic interactions.

Why my research is important

Investigation into opto-accoustic interactions in gravitational wave detectors is an important part of the current design process of Advanced LIGO and VIRGO, the two detectors that have funding for high sensitivity designs. Detectors being built are designed to surpass the limits set by Braginsky for likely issues with unstable opto-mechanical interactions otherwise known as parametric instability. A thorough investigation of these interactions now could provide useful insight into issues that may with be experienced shortly within these detectors. Ideally this will allow parametric instability to be designed out of these detectors improving their sensitivity.


  • Australian Postgraduate Award


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Thursday, 17 April, 2014 9:11 AM