Gravitational-wave physics with Cosmic Explorer: Limits to low-frequency sensitivity

Evan D. Hall, Kevin Kuns, Joshua R. Smith, Yuntao Bai, Christopher Wipf, Sebastien Biscans, Rana X. Adhikari, Koji Arai, Stefan Ballmer, Lisa Barsotti, Yanbei Chen, Matthew Evans, Peter Fritschel, Jan Harms, Brittany Kamai, Jameson Graef Rollins, David Shoemaker, Bram J.J. Slagmolen, Rainer Weiss, Hiro Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Cosmic Explorer is a next-generation ground-based gravitational-wave observatory concept, envisioned to begin operation in the 2030s and expected to be capable of observing binary neutron star and black hole mergers back to the time of the first stars. Cosmic Explorer's sensitive band will extend below 10 Hz, where the design is predominantly limited by geophysical, thermal, and quantum noises. In this work, thermal, seismic, gravity-gradient, quantum, residual gas, scattered-light, and servo-control noises are analyzed in order to motivate facility and vacuum system design requirements, potential test mass suspensions, Newtonian noise reduction strategies, improved inertial sensors, and cryogenic control requirements. Our analysis shows that, with improved technologies, Cosmic Explorer can deliver a strain sensitivity better than 10-23 Hz-1/2 down to 5 Hz. Our work refines and extends previous analysis of the Cosmic Explorer concept and outlines the key research areas needed to make this observatory a reality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number122004
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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