Director: Prof. Dr. Karsten Danzmann
The final goal of all activities of this Division is the detection of gravitational waves and the development of gravitational wave astronomy. This comprises the development and operation of large gravitational wave detectors on the ground as well as in space, but also a full range of supporting laboratory experiments in quantum optics, atomic physics, and laser physics.
The Division develops and operates the GEO600 gravitational wave detector in cooperation with UK partners in Glasgow and Cardiff. The GEO collaboration is a world leader in detector technology. The optical and mechanical systems designed for GEO600 are planned to be key components in the upgrade of the gravitational wave detectors in the USA and in Italy. The Division plays also a leading role in the development of the space-based gravitational wave detector eLISA. In preparation for eLISA, the Division has a major role in the LISA Pathfinder mission, which will be launched in 2014 to test the measurement and control systems designed for eLISA.
Karsten Danzmann and Bernard Schutz (Director of the AEI Division of Astrophysical Relativity) were among the leaders of the original LISA proposal to ESA in 1993, and the AEI has become a focal point for developing the eLISA mission in Europe.