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Cryogenic mirrors

Any Light Particle Search

Cryogenic mirrors

The first detection of gravitational waves in 2015 has opened a new window on the universe. To exploit this access for precision astronomy, a new generation of laser-interferometric gravitational-wave observatories with unprecedented sensitivity is currently being developed. The mirrors constituting the interferometer in these next-generation observatories will be cryogenically cooled, to suppress their temperature-induced fluctuating motion. Cooling the mirrors to a target temperature of ~ -263 °C, without introducing detrimental vibrations from the cooling apparatus, presents a major technological challenge.


As part of the cluster of excellence "Quantum Universe" and in collaboration with Roman Schnabel's group from University of Hamburg, we are developing novel concepts for "quiet" cooling of mirrors for next generation gravitational-wave observatories. This joint effort combines the expertise of Prof Schnabel's group in developing key techniques for gravitational-wave observatories, DESY's cryogenic infrastructure, and our group’s know-how for cryogenic setups.