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2Physics Quote:
"Today’s most precise time measurements are performed with optical atomic clocks, which achieve a precision of about 10-18, corresponding to 1 second uncertainty in more than 15 billion years, a time span which is longer than the age of the universe... Despite such stunning precision, these clocks could be outperformed by a different type of clock, the so called “nuclear clock”... The expected factor of improvement in precision of such a new type of clock has been estimated to be up to 100, in this way pushing the ability of time measurement to the next level."
-- Lars von der Wense, Benedict Seiferle, Mustapha Laatiaoui, Jürgen B. Neumayr, Hans-Jörg Maier, Hans-Friedrich Wirth, Christoph Mokry, Jörg Runke, Klaus Eberhardt, Christoph E. Düllmann, Norbert G. Trautmann, Peter G. Thirolf
(Read Full Article: "Direct Detection of the 229Th Nuclear Clock Transition"

Monday, March 12, 2007

Interferometric Detection of Gravitational Waves:
5 Needed Breakthroughs -- Seiji Kawamura

Seiji[ In our ongoing feature '5-Breakthroughs', so far most of our guests were from the exciting field of research on detection of gravitational waves. It started with David Shoemaker of LIGO and we also had Jean-Yves Vinet from French-Italian Virgo project and David Blair of the Australian effort, AIGO. Our today's guest is Prof. Seiji Kawamura of the Japanese endeavor, TAMA.

Seiji Kawamura is an associate professor at National Astronomical Observatory(NAO) at Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan. He was involved in joint Caltech-MIT LIGO project from its early days and worked on the 40m prototype interferometer (at Caltech), suspension system, and advanced R&D for the LIGO project between 1989 and 1997.

In 1997 he joined the TAMA project, the Japanese 300 meter interferometer for the detection of gravitational waves. As the leader of the detector group, he could lead TAMA to attain the world-best sensitivity at that time.

In addition he initiated and has been in charge of the resonant sideband extraction experiment, quantum non-demolition experiment, super-high frequency gravitational wave detection, and displacement-noise-free interferometer. He also leads the Japanese space gravitational wave antenna DECIGO.

Here is Seiji's list of 5 breakthroughs he would like to see in the ongoing worldwide effort to detect gravitational waves using interferometric antennas.
-- 2Physics.com Team]

"- homodyne detection with ponderomotive squeezing to suppress radiation pressure noise

- high-power laser to suppress shot noise

- cryogenic mirror/suspension to suppress thermal noise

- interferometer in space to remove seismic noise and to enhance gravitational wave signals

- displacement-noise-free interferometer to cancel all kinds of displacement noise"

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