Master Thesis

Analytic computation of laser interferometer readout signals (MSc Thesis)

Job offer from May 22, 2017

Gravitational wave detection today is based on laser interferometry, where the interferometric phase signal carries the key information on distance variations caused for instance by gravitational waves. The fundamental concept of the interferometric phase is written and explained in just a few lines, nevertheless we compute our phase readout predictions often numerically and we do not have a full analytic understanding of the interferometric readout. Even in the comparably simple case of a hypothetical perfect laser beam that is fully described as a Gaussian beam, we have no analytic expressions of our standard interferometric readout signals for instance when a beam tilts. However, it is not impossible to compute these signals for certain cases.

This masters thesis project therefore offers you the chance to analytically compute  standard interferometric readout signals: the phase (key readout for length variations), differential wavefront sensing (readout of beam angles), differential power sensing (readout of spot displacement on the photodiode) and the contrast (gives alignment information).

What you need:

  • an interest in computational physics
  • basic Mathematica knowledge would be favourable

You will be working in the space-interferometry working group of the Albert-Einstein-Institute, which will allow you to learn more about the space missions LISA Pathfinder, LISA and GRACE Follow-On. The results of your work will be valuable input for all of these missions.

If you are interested in this project, please contact .

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