Apl. Prof. Dr. Gerhard Heinzel
Apl. Prof. Dr. Gerhard Heinzel
Research Group Leader
Phone:+49 511 762-19984Fax:+49 511 762-2784
Dr. Jens Reiche
Project Manager LPF
Phone:+49 511 762-5844Fax:+49 511 762-2784
Dr. Martin Hewitson
Phone:+49 511 762-17121Fax:+49 511 762-2784

Header image 1341590505


LISA (evolved Laser Interferometer Space Antenna), a space-based detector with million-kilometer long arms will detect low-frequency gravitational waves that cannot be measured by ground based gravitational wave detectors.

The relative distance change between two freely falling bodies caused by a passing gravitational wave is exceedingly small, because spacetime is an extremely stiff elastic medium. For example: gravitational waves of a typical white dwarf binary at a distance of 50 pc create a periodic change of only 10-10 m in distance between two test masses, separated by a sufficiently large distance. 

A suitable instrument for measuring such small length changes over a broad band of low frequencies is a laser interferometer with an arm length as large as possible and long integration times, the primary impetus for a space-borne detector. 

Hence LISA-type detectors can be thought of basically as a Michelson interferometer in Space with an arm length in the order of million kilometers. This arm length allows observation of most of the interesting sources of gravitational waves.

Go to Editor View
loading content