Older News (2010-2011)

06.09.2011 - Laguerre Gauss modes at the Glasgow prototype

Research groups from the University of Birmingham and the University of Glasgow are currently testing the feasibility of using ring-shaped laser beams for future gravitational wave detectors.

Youtube video of LG experiment at the Glasgow prototype

This video by Paul Fulda provides a behind-the-scenes view of an ongoing research programme. The preliminary results shown here have been presented by Borja Sorazu at the Amaldi conference in Cardiff 2011.

31.05.2011 - gwoptics.org in Physics World

The gwoptics.org pages have been reviewed by Physics World! If you happen to have the May 2011 issue laying around, check page 41, it makes a short but interesting read. If you cannot get the print version, apparently an online version of the review is available as well.

20.05.2011 - Images of the Einstein Telescope

Today Einstein gravitational wave Telescope conceptual design has been officially presented at an event in Pisa (Italy). The design study document itself more than 400 pages long and full with details details. However some images and the layout of the Einstein Telescope nicely visualise the dimension and complexity of the machine.

ET, artistic view

11.05.2011 - LIGO games

Our games Space Time Quest and Black Hole Pong are now listed amongst other LIGO related games on the LIGO outreach pages. Time to start working on Black Hole Battle, the new incarnation of Black Hole Pong.

10.03.2011 - Space Time Quest

Space Time Quest is here! You can now download the game and see all the high scores online. Build your own gravitational wave detector and see if you can beat the scores of the experts!

Youtube video for Space Time Quest

Space Time Quest is a manager-simulation type game. The player can use a limited budget to design a gravitational wave detector. The goal is to maximise the sensitivity by adjusting several subsystem parameters correctly. This game has been developed as part of our outreach programme in the Gravitational Wave Group in Birmingham; our aim was to create a fun game that is easy to play, looks good and gives some insight into the complexity of gravitational wave detectors.

At the moment the game does not come with much explanation; however there is a simple 'how to play' video to get you started.

02.03.2011 - Chirp Music

Do you know the sound of a gravitational wave? Listen to this! Inspiral Signal is an online applet that shows the orbit of two colliding black holes and plays the characteristic chirp of the space time ripples they cause.

22.02.2011 - Augmented Reality Pendulum

A computer plus webcam create an `augmented reality': a virtual pendulum which hangs from the marker and follows its motion, and the motion of your hands, as a real pendulum would do. More info, a video and the application itself are available on the Augmented Reality Pendulum page.

20.02.2011 - gwoptics on twitter

This site is now one year old and we have assembled quite a bit of material. Much of this site is dedicated to bring gravitational wave science to the people. Thus it is time to reach out: you can follow us on twitter at @gwoptics and @GW_Birmingham to get news and info about our activities! Please spread the word!

14.02.2011 - SimTools: Matlab functions for optical simulations

After a two years long break, I have now uploaded a new version of SimTools. Previous versions mainly provided functions to automatically parse and/or create text input files for other simulation programs, such as Finesse. Version 0.6 now included many more mathematical functions related to Gaussian beams and optical simulations.

07.01.2011 - You are Einstein

Another fun application to be used in science events and exhibitions has been uploaded. You are Einstein is a Processing application that gives you and your friends the Einstein look.

13.12.2010 - How does a gravitational waves detector work?

Do you know how a gravitational wave detector works? Have a look at our E-book on gravitational wave detection and find out! This is a collection of very short texts and some illustrations describing in simple terms what gravitational waves are and how we use lasers to detect them.

28.10.2010 - Black Hole Pong, a classic game revisited

A summer student project this year has led to another Processing program worth sharing: This is Black Hole Pong, a remake of the classic Pong with a new twist. It is of course an educational game, illustrating the ways of gravity - but you probably won't even notice that because it is also very fast and quite difficult.

01.09.2010 - The British Science Festival is coming to Birmingham

We will use a few new Processing sketches in the exhibition `Looking for Black Holes with Lasers' by the Gravitational Wave Group. More details about the software will be posted here after the exhibition.

24.06.2010 - Source code available for Processing applets

The full source code is now available for the Processing applets: Pendulum, Stimulated Emission, Michelson Interferometer 1, Gaussian Beam Viewer and Cavity Calculator 1.

16.04.2010 - Luxor (the GUI for Finesse) is back

The download page for Luxor, the graphical user interface for Finesse had disappeared some time ago and a new one needs to be setup. Jan Harms send me the files to host them here in the meantime and you can find Luxor now on this new download page. Give it a go.

19.03.2010 - Our Processing library `gwoptics' now available

From today on, our own library for the Processing language is available for download. The library gwoptics provides 2D and 3D plotting capabilities, which come in handy for optical simulations. The best example for its use is the Gaussian Beam Viewer. The library (as Processing) is open source and comes with basic documentation and examples.

25.02.2010 - New review article published

Today, a new review article Interferometer Techniques for Gravitational-Wave Detection has been published in Living Reviews in Relativity. The article is free to access, available as a pdf file or as an online webpage, and it covers a lot of background material for learning about interferometry and optics used for gravitational wave detectors.

17.02.2010 - Shoot the asteroid!

If you need a break from the optical simulations or are looking for first steps in programming for kids, you should have a look at our Scratch rocket game - and don't forget to shoot the asteroids!

21.01.2010 - Finesse version 0.99.8 released

A new version of Finesse is now available for download. The main changes to previous versions are the possibility to use mirror maps and an updated manual, see the file CHANGES for a detailed list of changes.

16.01.2010 - added new Processing sketch `Stimulated Emission'

The GW detectors page features a addition to the series of Processing sketches explaining parts of a gravitational wave detector: the Stimulated Emission sketch illustrates how a simple laser works through the process of stimulated emission.

13.01.2010 - www.gwoptics.org online for testing

The first draft version of the webpage is now online.