Living Reviews in Relativity: “Gravitational Wave Detection by Interferometry” (major update)

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Today, Living Reviews in Relativity has published a major update of the review “Gravitational Wave Detection by Interferometry (Ground and Space)” by Matthew Pitkin, Stuart Reid, Sheila Rowan, and Jim Hough.

Please find the abstract and further details below.

PUB.NO. lrr-2011-5
Pitkin, Matthew, Reid, Stuart, Rowan, Sheila and Hough, James
“Gravitational Wave Detection by Interferometry (Ground and Space)”

ACCEPTED: 2011-06-17
PUBLISHED: 2011-07-11


There have been minor updates to Sections 1, 2 and 3; major updates to Sections 4 and 5; Section 6 has been renamed and includes entirely new material on the operation of, and results from, the first generation of gravitational wave detectors and upgrades that are under way; and Section 7 also includes major updates about the status of LISA. The number of references has increased from 110 to 324.

Significant progress has been made in recent years on the development of gravitational-wave detectors. Sources such as coalescing compact binary systems, neutron stars in low-mass X-ray binaries, stellar collapses and pulsars are all possible candidates for detection. The most promising design of gravitational-wave detector uses test masses a long distance apart and freely suspended as pendulums on Earth or in drag-free spacecraft. The main theme of this review is a discussion of the mechanical and optical principles used in the various long baseline systems in operation around the world – LIGO (USA), Virgo (Italy/France), TAMA300 and LCGT (Japan), and GEO600 (Germany/U.K.) – and in LISA, a proposed space-borne interferometer. A review of recent science runs from the current generation of ground-based detectors will be discussed, in addition to highlighting the astrophysical results gained thus far. Looking to the future, the major upgrades to LIGO (Advanced LIGO), Virgo (Advanced Virgo), LCGT and GEO600 (GEO-HF) will be completed over the coming years, which will create a network of detectors with the significantly improved sensitivity required to detect gravitational waves. Beyond this, the concept and design of possible future “third generation” gravitational-wave detectors, such as the Einstein Telescope (ET), will be discussed.