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2Physics Quote:
"About 200 femtoseconds after you started reading this line, the first step in actually seeing it took place. In the very first step of vision, the retinal chromophores in the rhodopsin proteins in your eyes were photo-excited and then driven through a conical intersection to form a trans isomer [1]. The conical intersection is the crucial part of the machinery that allows such ultrafast energy flow. Conical intersections (CIs) are the crossing points between two or more potential energy surfaces."
-- Adi Natan, Matthew R Ware, Vaibhav S. Prabhudesai, Uri Lev, Barry D. Bruner, Oded Heber, Philip H Bucksbaum
(Read Full Article: "Demonstration of Light Induced Conical Intersections in Diatomic Molecules" )

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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