Gravitational-Wave Detectors



Welcome to my webpage! I am a Professor of Experimental Physics at the School of Physics and Astronomy and do research within the Gravitational Wave Group. My main research interests are laser interferometry and optical techniques for gravitational wave detectors.

I began my scientific career as a student at the University of Hannover. In my third year I had the opportunity to spend one year in Scotland where I worked on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance for a Bachelor degree. Back in Hannover I started working on an advanced optical technique called 'Signal Recycling' for my German university degree. Towards the end of my degree the installation of the GEO 600 gravitational wave detector began, and I decided to continue on for a PhD on the GEO 600 project. Setting up the laser frequency stabilisation and mode-cleaner cavities of the detector turned out to be my first PhD challenge. However, I did not neglect my previous work on optical techniques and started to write and use the interferometer simulation Finesse. After obtaining my PhD I moved on to Italy where I spend two years as a post-doc researcher. I had the chance to work at the site of the VIRGO detector, where I was a member of the commissioning team and responsible for the interferometer alignment system. See also my short intro on the university pages.

My current research is focussed on optical design for future gravitational wave detectors. This includes experimental research in our interferometry lab as well as theoretical studies for the optical design of the Einstein Telescope (ET). In addition, I work on numeric simulation tools for GEO 600 and the commissioning of Advanced LIGO.