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Detecting continuous gravitational waves with superfluid 4He

Direct detection of gravitational waves is opening a new window onto our universe. Here, we study the sensitivity to continuous-wave strain fields of a kg-scale optomechanical system formed by the acoustic motion of superfluid helium-4 parametrically coupled to a superconducting microwave cavity. This narrowband detection scheme can operate at very highQ-factors, while the resonant frequency is tunable through pressurization of the helium in the 0.1-1.5 kHz range. The detector can therefore be tuned to a variety of astrophysical sources and can remain sensitive to a particular source over a long period of time. For thermal noise limited sensitivity, we find that strain fields on the order of h similar to 10(-23)/root Hz are detectable. Measuring such strains is possible by implementing state of the art microwave transducer technology. Weshow that the proposed system can compete with interferometric detectors and potentially surpass the gravitational strain limits set by them for certain pulsar sources within a few months of integration time.
Date21 July 2017
CreatorsSingh, S, Lorenzo, L A De, Pikovski, I, Schwab, K C
ContributorsUniv Arizona, Inst B2, Univ Arizona, Coll Opt Sci, Dept Phys
Source SetsUniversity of Arizona
Detected LanguageEnglish
Rights© 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft

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