The sensitivity of kilometer-scale terrestrial gravitational wave interferometers is limited by mirror coating thermal noise. Alternative interferometer topologies can mitigate the impact of thermal noise on interferometer noise curves. In this work, we explore the impact of introducing a single folding mirror into the arm cavities of dual-recycled Fabry-Perot interferometers. While simple folding alone does not reduce the mirror coating thermal noise, it makes the folding mirror the critical mirror, opening up a variety of design and upgrade options. Improvements to the folding mirror thermal noise through crystalline coatings or cryogenic cooling can increase interferometer range by as much as a factor of two over the Advanced LIGO reference design.
- gravitational waves
- thermal noise
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)