Exploring gravity with the MIGA large scale atom interferometer

Abstract : We present the MIGA experiment, an underground long baseline atom interferometer to study gravity at large scale. The hybrid atom-laser antenna will use several atom interferometers simultaneously interrogated by the resonant mode of an optical cavity. The instrument will be a demonstrator for gravitational wave detection in a frequency band (100 mHz-1 Hz) not explored by classical ground and space-based observatories, and interesting for potential astrophysical sources. In the initial instrument configuration, standard atom interferometry techniques will be adopted, which will bring to a peak strain sensitivity of ⋅ 2 10 Hz / 13 − at 2 Hz. This demonstrator will enable to study the techniques to push further the sensitivity for the future development of gravitational wave detectors based on large scale atom interferometers. The experiment will be realized at the underground facility of the Laboratoire Souterrain Bas Bruit (LSBB) in Rustrel-France, an exceptional site located away from major anthropogenic disturbances and showing very low background noise. In the following, we present the measurement principle of an in-cavity atom interferometer, derive the method for Gravitational Wave signal extraction from the antenna and determine the expected strain sensitivity. We then detail the functioning of the different systems of the antenna and describe the properties of the installation site.
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B. Canuel, A. Bertoldi, L. Amand, E. Pozzo Di Borgo, T. Chantrait, et al.. Exploring gravity with the MIGA large scale atom interferometer. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2018, 8 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41598-018-32165-z⟩. ⟨hal-01874243⟩

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