Abstract

The worldwide endeavor to build long baseline laser interferometers to detect and study gravitational radiation is well under way. In the German–British GEO600 project, it is proposed to pass the sidebands induced on the light by an electro-optic phase modulator through a Fabry–Perot optical cavity used in transmission, called a mode cleaner. This can be achieved when the phase modulation frequency is matched to the first longitudinal-mode frequency of the mode cleaner cavity so that both carrier and sidebands are transmitted. The primary function of the mode cleaner is to reduce the geometry fluctuations associated with the light, and thus any such noise induced by the modulation process is also suppressed. We present the results of an experiment that investigates the feasibility of passing modulation sidebands through an optical cavity and the factors limiting its success. In particular, we show that it is possible to avoid introducing excess noise associated with the transmitted sidebands, provided that certain experimental criteria are satisfied. The research was carried out on a prototype mode cleaner cavity built and tested at Glasgow University but which is similar to the equivalent apparatus planned for GEO600.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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Corrections

Kenneth D. Skeldon and Kenneth A. Strain, "Response of a Fabry–Perot optical cavity to phase modulation sidebands for use in electro-optic control systems: errata," Appl. Opt. 37, 4936-4936 (1998)
https://www.osapublishing.org/ao/abstract.cfm?uri=ao-37-21-4936

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