International Summer Research Program in Gravitational-Wave Physics:
Research Experiences for Undergraduates around the world


University of Sannio in Benevento, Italy
  • Glassy oxide mixtures down-selection:
    Mirror coating thermal noise limits the sensitivity of LIGO and Virgo detectors. Over the past several years, as part of the LIGO-Virgo OWG, our group has extensively sought reductions in mirror thermal noise through coating and laser-beam optimization. We have already designed, built and succesfully tested minimum noise coating prototypes that have being considered for the next generation GW detectors (AdLIGO, AdVirgo). In the near future, we intend to capitalize on our modeling work for co-sputtered and subwavelength layered glassy oxide mixtures [LIGO-G1100372; LIGO-GG100537] to compare alternative mixture-based high-index materials for advanced detectors, using available material data on glassy oxides. Expected advantages include better glassy properties, thinner coatings, and further noise reduction. The student would be involved in both theoretical and numerical work. The required background includes a basic knowledge of wave optics, dielectric properties and scientific programming (C, MATHEMATICA, MATLAB).
    Mentors: Maria Principe, Riccardo DeSalvo, Innocenzo Pinto
    Related Project 2009: "Optimized Mirror Coatings for LIGO"
  • A canonical model of the glitchy noise component:
    Based on our previous work on glitch representation [LIGO-G0901151; LIGO-P0900059; CQG 25 (2008) 075013] plus yet unpublished results, we intend to use generalized Prony methods to identify specific canonical responses for representing instrumental glitches in GW interferometric detectors. The student would be involved in both theoretical and numerical work. The required skills include a good math/phys background and good scientific programming ability (MATLAB, MATHEMATICA, C).
    Mentors: Vincenzo Pierro, Innocenzo Pinto
    Related Project 2008: "An Application of Matching-Pursuit for the Characterization of Glitch Noise in Gravitational Wave Interferometers"
  • Khalili etalons for mode enhancement/suppression:
    We intend to study the possibility of adopting Khalili etalons for the terminal mirrors of FP cavities, and using the etalon/coating design degrees of freedom to enhance or suppress specific (higher order) cavity modes, for thermal noise minimization in advanced interferometers. The student would be involved in both theoretical and numerical work. The required skills include a good math/phys background and good scientific programming ability (MATLAB, MATHEMATICA, C).
    Mentors: Vincenzo Galdi, Innocenzo Pinto
  • Robust network detection of unmodeled GW bursts in non-Gaussian glitchy noise:
    We intend to implement our robust locally optimum detection statistics (introduced in [LIGO-P1000134; CQG  26 (2009) 204001; CQG 26 (2009) 045003]) in the CWB LIGO pipeline for detecting unmodeled GW transients in the LIGO-Virgo network. We also intend to test the modified CWB using real LIGO-Virgo data. The project will involve both theoretical and numerical work. The required background includes a basic knowledge of GW physics, statistical theory of decisions and scientific programming (C, MATHEMATICA, MATLAB).
    Mentors: Maria Principe, Innocenzo Pinto


Past IREU Projects
Other Prior Projects