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2Physics Quote:
"Many of the molecules found by ROSINA DFMS in the coma of comet 67P are compatible with the idea that comets delivered key molecules for prebiotic chemistry throughout the solar system and in particular to the early Earth increasing drastically the concentration of life-related chemicals by impact on a closed water body. The fact that glycine was most probably formed on dust grains in the presolar stage also makes these molecules somehow universal, which means that what happened in the solar system could probably happen elsewhere in the Universe."
-- Kathrin Altwegg and the ROSINA Team

(Read Full Article: "Glycine, an Amino Acid and Other Prebiotic Molecules in Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko"

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Milestones in a Continuing Tale of Big and Small : Large Magnitude Squeezed Light at 100 Hz, and a Squeezed 4km Gravitational-wave Detector

Sheon Chua

[Sheon Chua is the recipient of the 2013 GWIC (Gravitational Wave International Committee) Thesis Prize for his PhD thesis “Quantum Enhancement of a 4km Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Detector” (PDF). -- 2Physics.com]

Author: Sheon Chua


Currently at: Laboratoire Kastler Brossel, University of Pierre and Marie Curie (UPMC), Paris, France.

PhD research performed at: Centre for Gravitational Physics, Australian National University (ANU), Canberra, Australia.

Gravitational-wave sources of astronomical size from our Universe. Gravitational-wave displacement signals expected at one thousandth of the diameter of a single proton. Interferometric instruments with kilometre-long arms. Light ‘squeezed’ on the quantum scale.

The construction and implementation of second-generation laser-interferometric gravitational-wave detectors [1] are rapidly progressing [2], forming a detector network expected to be online over the next few years. These amazing instruments will use state-of-the-art isolation systems, optics, and hundred watt input lasers, and have kilometre-scale arms. For these detectors, the effect of a passing gravitational wave causes a relative displacement change between the interferometer arm end mirrors, which is encoded in the relative phase of the light beams propagating in the arms [3]. The relative displacement sensitivities will be of order of 10-19 m in the 10 Hz to 10 kHz Fourier frequency band, achieved after monumental efforts in research and development across many fields of physics and engineering.

2Physics articles by past winners of the GWIC Thesis Prize:

Paul Fulda (2012): "Precision Interferometry in a New Shape: Higher-order Laguerre-Gauss Modes for Gravitational Wave Detection"
Rutger van Haasteren (2011): "Pulsar Timing Arrays: Gravitational-wave detectors as big as the Galaxy"
Haixing Miao (2010): "Exploring Macroscopic Quantum Mechanics with Gravitational-wave Detectors"
Holger J. Pletsch (2009): "Deepest All-Sky Surveys for Continuous Gravitational Waves"
Henning Vahlbruch (2008): "Squeezed Light – the first real application starts now"
Keisuke Goda (2007): "Beating the Quantum Limit in Gravitational Wave Detectors"
Yoichi Aso (2006): "Novel Low-Frequency Vibration Isolation Technique for Interferometric Gravitational Wave Detectors"
Rana Adhikari (2003-5)*: "Interferometric Detection of Gravitational Waves : 5 Needed Breakthroughs"
*Note, the gravitational wave thesis prize was started initially by LIGO as a biannual prize, limited to students of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC). The first award covered the period from 1 July 2003 to 30 June 2005. In 2006, the thesis prize was adopted by GWIC, renamed, converted to an annual prize, and opened to the broader international community.

However, even after these impressive technological efforts, there remain fundamental noise sources that limit measurement sensitivity that arise from the underlying physics of the instrument itself. One such noise source is the quantum nature of light [4], that comes from a non-zero commutation relationship between a light beam’s phase (ϕ) and amplitude (A) [5]. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle for this specific pair of quantities is given by ∆ϕ ≥ 1. Figure 1(a) shows this relation diagrammatically as a noise ‘ball’. As the gravitational-wave signal is encoded in the relative phase, with quantum phase noise Δϕ present we reach a signal-to-noise level where we can no longer distinguish a passing gravitational wave in the measurement. Therefore, the quantum noise of light is a limitation to achievable sensitivity.

However, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle relation is multiplicative. This means that one of the uncertainties can be below the quantum level, or ‘squeezed’, if the other uncertainty is above the level, or ‘antisqueezed’. This is illustrated in Figure 1(b), where the overall uncertainty is the same, but the individual uncertainties have been ‘rearranged’. The amount of squeezing has units of decibels [dB], referenced to the unsqueezed quantum noise level amplitude, given by [dB]=20 log10[(anti)squeezed noise / unsqueezed noise].

Figure 1 (a) Quantum noise ‘ball’, showing the even distribution of uncertainty between the two quantities amplitude (A) and phase (ϕ). (b) Squeezed noise, where the uncertainty in one quantity is less than quantum noise, while the other uncertainty is greater than quantum noise.

As an example, if we have 6 dB of squeezing, we mean that the noise is squeezed to about half the value of the quantum noise level, or that the noise is reduced by a factor of 2. It follows that if we inject squeezed light into an interferometer so that it results in the phase uncertainty being reduced, the measurement sensitivity limited by quantum phase noise will be improved.

The tale of squeezed light for enhancing gravitational-wave detectors is now three decades young, with theoretical proposals for injecting squeezed light into interferometers published in the early 1980s [6], a few years before first experimental measurement of squeezing [7] took place. Since then, there has been a steady advancement in techniques and technologies to generate squeezed light within the 10 Hz to 10 kHz detection band [8-10], as well as to implement squeezed light with interferometers [11-14]. The GEO600 detector is now routinely using squeezed light, with ever-increasing timescales and duty cycles [15].
Figure 2: First measurement of greater than 10 dB squeezing across the audio gravitational-wave detection band, with 11.6 dB from 200 Hz and above. The degradation of squeezing level below 100 Hz is due to remaining residual classical noise entering the squeezing detector. Adapted from [16], and includes resolution bandwidth and window information.

The first milestone recently added to this story is the measurement of greater than 10 dB squeezing across the 10 Hz – 10 kHz frequency band [16]. This measurement was achieved by a team at the Australian National University, with valuable input from the Albert Einstein Institute. Figure 2 shows the result, with a maximum of 11.6 dB measured at 100 Hz and above. This was achieved after a detailed study characterizing and minimizing classical noise sources that impacted the squeezing measurement. This result represents the current record for squeezing in the 10 Hz – 10 kHz band, and further demonstrates the availability of large squeezing magnitude applicable for gravitational-wave detector enhancement.

The second milestone recently achieved is realising a squeezed 4 km interferometric gravitational-wave detector [17]. This was an experiment completed on the Enhanced LIGO 4 km interferometer in Washington State USA, performed by scientists from across the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, with LIGO Hanford Observatory, LIGO Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Australian National University and the Albert Einstein Institute being the lead institutions.
Figure 3: Enhanced LIGO interferometer with squeezing. (a) The Reference trace shows the displacement sensitivity of the interferometer without squeezing being injected, while the Squeezing trace shows the interferometer with squeezing injected. (b) Squeezing enhancement in LIGO’s most sensitive frequency band, at a lesser level due to significant contributions from noise sources other than quantum noise. Adapted from [17].

Figure 3(a) shows the interferometer displacement sensitivity curve with and without squeezed light. Up to 2.15 dB of squeezing enhancement is measured in the quantum noise limited regime (above 150 Hz). This is in line with the expected experiment parameters. Furthermore, as shown in Figure 3(b), in the most sensitive band between 150 Hz and 300 Hz, there is enhancement gained by squeezing. This result confirmed the compatibility of squeezing at lower detection frequencies where future gravitational-wave detectors will have their best sensitivity.

Squeezed light is a tool that is now available for, and being used for enhancing interferometric gravitational-wave detectors [15]. Third generation detector designs, such as the Einstein Telescope [18], have squeezed light injection as part of baseline technology. To realise maximum benefit from squeezed light injection, further improvements and refinements are needed, such as for improved parameters for squeezing injection and for minimizing adverse impacts on future detectors with more stringent requirements. This development work continues on as I write. It is safe to say that there are many more milestones to come in this continuing tale of big and small.

This article is a ‘synopsis’ of the squeezed light story and the two milestone results. For an in-depth review of squeezed light, squeezed light technologies and injection experiments up to 2013 (including both of these recent milestones), a Topical Review article is to be published soon [19]. I also recommend the LIGO Magazine, Issue 3 [20], which is focussed on squeezed light.

[1] Advanced LIGO website: www.advancedligo.mit.edu ; Advanced Virgo website: wwwcascina.virgo.infn.it/advirgo ; KAGRA website: gwcenter.icrr.u-tokyo.ac.jp/en/; GEO600 website: www.geo600.org
[2] For example: www.advancedligo.mit.edu/adligo_news.html .
[3] For an expanded introduction to interferometric gravitational-wave detector measurement, I recommend this short video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzZgFKoIfQI .
[4] P.R. Saulson, "Fundamentals of interferometric gravitational wave detectors". World Scientific, Singapore (1994).
[5] D.F. Walls and G. Milburn, "Quantum Optics". Springer-Verlag, 2nd edition, Berlin (2008).
[6] Carlton M. Caves, "Quantum-mechanical noise in an interferometer". Physical Review D, 23, 1693 (1981) . Abstract.
[7] R.E. Slusher, L.W. Hollberg, B. Yurke, J.C. Mertz, J.F. Valley, "Observation of Squeezed States Generated by Four-Wave Mixing in an Optical Cavity", Physical Review Letters, 55, 2409 (1985). Abstract.
[8] Kirk McKenzie, Nicolai Grosse, Warwick P. Bowen, Stanley E. Whitcomb, Malcolm B. Gray, David E. McClelland, Ping Koy Lam, "Squeezing in the Audio Gravitational-Wave Detection Band". Physical Review Letters, 93, 161105 (2004). Abstract.
[9] Roman Schnabel and Henning Vahlbruch, "Squeezed Light – the first real application starts now". 2Physics : April 03, 2008.
[10] Tobias Eberle, Sebastian Steinlechner, Jöran Bauchrowitz, Vitus Händchen, Henning Vahlbruch, Moritz Mehmet, Helge Müller-Ebhardt, Roman Schnabel, "Quantum Enhancement of the Zero-Area Sagnac Interferometer Topology for Gravitational Wave Detection", Physical Review Letters, 104, 251102 (2010). Abstract.
[11] Kirk McKenzie, Daniel A. Shaddock, David E. McClelland, Ben C. Buchler, and Ping Koy Lam, "Experimental Demonstration of a Squeezing-Enhanced Power-Recycled Michelson Interferometer for Gravitational Wave Detection", Physical Review Letters, 88, 231102 (2002). Abstract.
[12] Henning Vahlbruch, Simon Chelkowski, Boris Hage, Alexander Franzen, Karsten Danzmann, Roman Schnabel, "Demonstration of a Squeezed-Light-Enhanced Power- and Signal-Recycled Michelson Interferometer", Physical Review Letters, 95 211102 (2005). Abstract.
[13] Keisuke Goda, Alan Weinstein, Nergis Mavalvala, "Beating the Quantum Limit in Gravitational Wave Detectors". 2Physics : May 10, 2008.
[14] Hartmut Grote, Roman Schnabel, Henning Vahlbruch, "A Gravitational Wave Observatory Operating Beyond the Quantum Shot-Noise Limit". 2Physics : September 25, 2011.
[15] H. Grote, K. Danzmann, K. L. Dooley, R. Schnabel, J. Slutsky, H. Vahlbruch, "First Long-term Application of Squeezed States of Light in a Gravitational-Wave Observatory". Physical Review Letters, 110, 181101 (2013). Abstract.
[16] M S Stefszky, C M Mow-Lowry, S S Y Chua, D A Shaddock, B C Buchler, H Vahlbruch, A Khalaidovski, R Schnabel, P K Lam, D E McClelland, "Balanced Homodyne Detection of Optical Quantum States at Audio-Band Frequencies and Below". Classical and Quantum Gravity, 29 145015 (2012). Abstract.
[17] The LIGO Scientific Collaboration, "Enhanced sensitivity of the LIGO gravitational wave detector by using squeezed states of light". Nature Photonics 7,  613 – 619 (2013). Abstract.
[18] Einstein Telescope: www.et-gw.eu .
[19] S. Chua et al, "Quantum Squeezed Light for Advanced Gravitational-wave Detectors". Classical and  Quantum Gravity Topical Review, accepted for publication (2014).
[20] LIGO Magazine, Issue 3: www.ligo.org/magazine/LIGO-magazine-issue-3.pdf .

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