Enhanced sensitivity of the LIGO gravitational wave detector by using squeezed states of light

J. Aasi*, J. Abadie, B.P. Abbott, R. Abbott, T.D. Abbott, M.R. Abernathy, C. Adams, T. Adams, P. Addesso, R.X. Adhikari, C. Affeldt, O.D. Aguiar, P. Ajith, B. Allen, E.A. Ceron, D. Amariutei, S.B. Anderson, W.G. Anderson, K. Arai, M.C. ArayaC. Arceneaux, S. Ast, S.M. Aston, D. Atkinson, P. Aufmuth, C. Aulbert, L. Austin, B.E. Aylott, S. Babak, P.T. Baker, S. Ballmer, Y. Bao, J.C. Barayoga, D. Barker, B. Barr, L. Barsotti, M.A. Barton, I. Bartos, R. Bassiri, J. Batch, J. Bauchrowitz, B. Behnke, A.S. Bell, C. Bell, G. Bergmann, J.M. Berliner, A. Bertolini, J. Betzwieser, N. Beveridge, P.T. Beyersdorf, S.L. Danilishin, S. Hild, J. Steinlechner, S. Steinlechner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

700 Citations (Web of Science)


Nearly a century after Einstein first predicted the existence of gravitational waves, a global network of Earth-based gravitational wave observatories(1-4) is seeking to directly detect this faint radiation using precision laser interferometry. Photon shot noise, due to the quantum nature of light, imposes a fundamental limit on the attometre-level sensitivity of the kilometre-scale Michelson interferometers deployed for this task. Here, we inject squeezed states to improve the performance of one of the detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) beyond the quantum noise limit, most notably in the frequency region down to 150 Hz, critically important for several astrophysical sources, with no deterioration of performance observed at any frequency. With the injection of squeezed states, this LIGO detector demonstrated the best broadband sensitivity to gravitational waves ever achieved, with important implications for observing the gravitational-wave Universe with unprecedented sensitivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-619
Number of pages7
JournalNature Photonics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes



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