Dr. Aidan Brooks
LIGO Laboratory, Caltech
Advanced LIGO: from concept to operation and beyond
The Advanced LIGO interferometric gravitational wave detectors are now operational and, at the time of this presentation, will be deep into their first observing run. The years of design, construction and commissioning of these state-of-the-art instruments were rife with challenges and replete with examples of technical acumen from the hundreds of scientists and engineers working on the project. This talk will review the motivation and history of the Advanced LIGO Project from this perspective and look to what the future holds for these observatories.
Aidan Brooks did a Ph.D. in Physics in high precision wavefront sensing at the University of Adelaide, graduating in 2007. He accepted an offer to do post-doctoral research with LIGO Laboratory at Caltech, implementing high power upgrades to the Enhanced LIGO detector. In 2009, he accepted a junior research scientist position, researching auxiliary length control mechanisms for Advanced LIGO and subsequently assumed the role of Cognizant Scientist in Charge of Thermal Compensation in 2011. Caltech made him a permanent staff member in 2013. He is currently researching ways to implement universal active wavefront control in Advanced LIGO, designing cryogenic third-generation gravitational wave detectors and measuring thermal noise in the dielectric mirror coatings. In his spare time, he likes to cycle across Europe and make science videos explaining solar magneto-hydrodynamics to his 5-year old nephew.