The purpose and a brief history of the working group

The LIGO Lasers and Optics Working Group is a sub-group of the LIGO Science Collaboration ( It was formed during the meeting on Advanced Gravitational Wave Interferometery held in Aspen Colorado between January 27 and February 1, 1997. The creation of this working group formalized and strengthened the collaborations already underway since September 1, 1996 between LIGO ( and the Stanford Group ( on spatial and temporal mode filtering of solid state lasers (Willke 1998) and between GEO ( and the Stanford Group on amplifier noise measurements at low power (Tullock 1998). Moreover it has expanded these collaborations to include researchers from the Florida Group, JILA and the Australian program ACIGA ( In this last program Stan Whitcomb (LIGO) and Robert Byer ( are co-chief-investigators on the ACIGA Laser Development program whose principal investigator is Professor Jesper Munch.

The purpose of this working group is to pursue the development of laser and optics technology to improve the next several generations of interferometric gravitational wave detectors. The working group meets twice a year during the LIGO Science Collaboration meetings and is responsible for writing and updating the part of the annual LSC White Paper on Lasers and Optics Research and Development and coordinating the research activities of the members of the lasers and optics working group.

The temporary chair of the lasers and Optics working group is Eric Gustafson (

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Last Update: 2/19/98