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  • Lectures on History of Science – Lecture 23: Gravitational-wave detector: An instrument for macroscopic quantum effects

    SPEAKER MIU Haixing


    EVENT DATE 14 Oct 2022

    EVENT TIME 19:20 – 20:55

    VENUE West Lecture Hall


    Gravitational wave offers a new access to exploring the universe. We examine Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity in strong gravitational field by detecting the merger of two black holes. Observations of gravitational waves and electromagnetic waves from binary neutron stars even spawned multi-messenger astronomy. Ground-based gravitational-wave detectors like LIGO, VIRGO and KAGRA are large laser interferometers with kilometers of length. These large interferometers have high sensitivity in order to detect weak signals of gravitational waves and unveil quantum effects that only significantly appears on the atomic scale. One of the main factors restricting the sensitivity of detectors is the quantum noise caused by quantum fluctuations of light. This lecture briefly recapitulates the discovery and detection of gravitational waves, introduces the quantum properties of the detectors and anticipates the future of gravitational-wave detection.

    Brief introduction to the speaker

    Miu Haixing, received his bachelor's degree from University of Science and Technology of China in 2006 and PhD degree from the University of West Australia in 2010. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher in California Institute of Technology from 2010 to 2013. He joined the Institute for Gravitational Wave Astronomy at the University of Birmingham in 2014 and started teaching students there in 2016. Since 2021, he has been working in Department of Physics, Tsinghua University. His research interests include gravitational-wave detection and precise measurement of quantum particles.