Mid-band Atomic Gravitational Wave Interferometric Sensor (MAGIS)

Apr 26, 2018 - 11:00 am to 12:00 pm

Campus, PAB 102/103

Peter Graham and Jason Hogan (Stanford Physics)

We will discuss the potential science reach and technical feasibility of gravitational wave detectors based on precision atomic sensors.  Taking advantage of features used by the best atomic clocks in the world combined with established techniques of matter wave interferometry, a pair of atomic sensors using laser cooled strontium can achieve scientifically interesting gravitational wave strain sensitivities in a frequency band between the LISA and LIGO detectors, roughly 30 mHz to 10 Hz (the “mid-band”). The discovery potential of the proposed instrument ranges from observation of new astrophysical sources (e.g. black hole and neutron star binaries) to searches for cosmological sources of stochastic gravitational radiation, as well as searches for dark matter.  The mid-band frequency range appears to be optimal for measuring binary system parameter such as black hole spin, and also for angular localization of many interesting sources, potentially enabling multi-messenger astronomy with sub-degree-scale forecasting of sky location prior to a merger event.  Finally, we will describe experimental work at Stanford to demonstrate the detector operating principles, as well as recent efforts to build a 100-meter prototype detector at Fermilab, MAGIS-100.