About the event
The Department of Physics and Astronomy and The OSA-SPIE Student Chapter invites all to a colloquium featuring Dr. Stan Whitcomb, LIGO Laboratory. Dr. Whitcomb will present their talk, “LIGO and the “Fundamental” Limits to Physical Measurements.”
Meet for refreshments before the lecture at 3:45–4:10 p.m. in the foyer on floor G above the lecture hall.
Abstract: Since the first direct detection of gravitational waves by the LIGO detectors on September 14, 2015, the main hoopla has (justifiably!) been about how the results support Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity and the impact of gravitational waves on our understanding of astrophysics. However, there is another side to this story. The success of LIGO required measurements of extraordinary sensitivity, reaching close to what many would consider fundamental limits of measurement. I will describe two of these (the quantum limits, and thermal noise), including how LIGO has dealt with these in the past and the efforts underway to push even further.