Control of the laser frequency of the Virgo gravitational wave interferometer with an in-loop relative frequency stability of 1.0 x 10(-21) on a 100 ms time scale

F. Acernese*, M. Alshourbagy, F. Antonucci, S. Aoudia, K.G. Arun, P. Astone, G. Ballardin, F. Barone, M. Barsuglia, T.S. Bauer, M. Beker, S. Bigotta, S. Birindelli, M.A. Bizouard, C. Boccara, F. Bondu, L. Bonelli, L. Bosi, S. Braccini, C. BradaschiaA. Brillet, V. Brisson, H.J. Bulten, D. Buskulic, G. Cagnoli, E. Calloni, E. Campagna, B. Canuel, F. Carbognani, L. Carbone, F. Cavalier, R. Cavalieri, G. Cella, E. Chassande-Mottin, S. Chatterji, A. Chincarini, F. Cleva, E. Coccia, J. Colas, A. Colla, M. Colombini, C. Corda, A. Corsi, J.P. Coulon, E. Cuoco, S. D'Antonio, A. Dari, V. Dattilo, M. Davier, R. Day, S. Hild, J.F.J. van den Brand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingAcademicpeer-review


The measurement of the space-time structure variations induced by strong cosmic events (supernovae, coalescing binaries of neutron stars, etc.) requires an oscillator with a relative stability of 10(-21) on time scales typically approximate to 100 ms. We demonstrate that the Virgo interferometer with a wavelength of 1.064 mu m has a laser frequency with an in-loop stability of 1.0 x 10(-21) on a 100 ms time scale, and an in-loop frequency noise of 2 x 10(-7) Hz/root Hz at 10 Hz. We show that this fits the specifications. Two references successively stabilize the laser frequency. The first one is a 144 m long suspended cavity; the second one is the common mode of two perpendicular 3 km long Fabry-Perot cavities. The differential mode of the relative length variations of these two optical cavities is the port where we expect the signal for the gravitational waves; this out-of-loop measurement, less sensitive to laser frequency noise, does not show up correlations with the in-loop error signal. This is the best ever performance of short term laser frequency stabilization reported.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2009 IEEE International Frequency Control Symposium Joint with the 22nd European Frequency and Time forum
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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