LIGO Document T1600290-v10

Modeling Loss and Thermal Noise in Silicon Gravitational Wave Detector Suspensions

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T - Technical notes
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Thermal noise is one of the most significant limitations to gravitational wave detector sensitivity. The next generation of LIGO detectors may be cryogenically cooled to reduce more of the thermal noise, but this requires research into new materials and geometries to be used for the mirror suspensions. This project is focused on using a finite element analysis software called Ansys to build new models of the suspensions with crystalline silicon in order to study the thermal noise effects and guide the design of the upgraded mirror suspensions. If successful, these new models will result in further reduced contributions of thermal noise and an improvement to the sensitivity and range of the LIGO detectors.
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Final version of final report

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