Type of contract
Traineeship contract for a period of 4 months within the EGO Optics laboratory in the Interferometer Technology Department, funded by the EGO Consortium.
The Virgo interferometer is the most sensitive gravitational-wave detector in Europe. It was realized in partnership between the French and Italian institutes CNRS and INFN. It involves a wide collaboration of almost 200 scientists and engineers.
After a deep modification of the interferometer, to give birth to a new generation detector called Advanced Virgo Plus (AdV+) that will use improved mirrors, higher laser power and signal recycling techniques in order to increase the sensitivity by one order of magnitude, the instrument is now being commissioned to become fully operative by the end of 2022.
The EGO consortium (European Gravitational Observatory), located in Cascina, near Pisa –Italy, hosts the Virgo detector and has been also deeply involved in the design and construction of Advanced Virgo.
In particular, the EGO optics group is in charge of the input optics (INJ) and Auxiliary Lasers System (ALS) for AdV+. Moreover, an important part of the work is to keep on looking for new techniques to improve the quality of the light signal and to reduce the noise sources along the laser path.
One of the limiting noise of Virgo comes from the light scattered by the different elements on the optical path. Whenever the light is impinging a surface, part of it is scattered and may recombine with the main beam, adding some phase noise to it and spoiling the sensitivity of the interferometer. There had been lots of efforts done in the past year to try to mitigate that noise. One of it is the systematic study of the light scattered by the surfaces of the elements that we are using in order to find the best suitable ones.
In this context, the goal of the internship is double.
The first one is to improve the experimental set up that is currently used for measure the Total Integrating Scattering (TIS) of a given material, by reducing the actual noise floor and automatizing the scan of the material sample. Moreover, the idea is to test and compare new absorbing materials in terms of TIS, damage threshold and reflectivity.
The second goal is to set-up a new experiment that will be able to measure the Bi-directional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) and will give us the information about the amount of light that is scattered in the backward direction. It will consist in a homodyne interferometer. One arm will be kept as a reference while the other one will carry the information on the amount of light back scattered by the sample.
Applicants should be in their last years of study in optics or physics.
The work will be at a level of Master thesis (equivalent to thesis for “laurea specialistica” in Italian).
Good attitude to experimental work is mandatory.
Place of work
EGO – European Gravitational Observatory – via E. Amaldi n.5 cap 56021 Loc. S. Stefano a Macerata – Cascina (Pisa) ITALY.
Considering the lack of public means of transport to reach the site, it is preferable having a car. EGO also offers a taxi shuttle from Pisa to EGO site at fixed times.
For the whole duration of the traineeship, EGO will pay a gross monthly wage of 500,00 euro and offer the lunch service at its canteen during working days to the student.
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Closing date for applications
Until position is filled.
Matthieu Gosselin, PhD
Phone: +39 050 752458