Folding gravitational-wave interferometers

J. R. Sanders, Stefan W. Ballmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number025003
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 19 2017


  • gravitational waves
  • interferometry
  • thermal noise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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