LIGO Document G1300687-v1

Modelling mirror surface distortion effects in low-loss, near-unstable Fabry-Perot cavities

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Gravitational wave detectors utilise optical cavities in several ways. When squeezed light is injected to reduce the quantum noise, optical losses can significantly degrade its effects, in particular losses in the arm and filter cavities . At the same time, thermal noise can be reduced by increasing the spot size on the mirrors leading to near-unstable cavity geometries. We use numerical models to investigate such low-loss, near-unstable cavities, in particular the effects of nanoscale defects present on the mirror surfaces on the cavity performance and the possible effects measurable.
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