Summer Exchange Program for 2003
Opportunities for research activity in AURIGA

Under the summer exchange program for 2003 between DOE-NSF and INFN there are the following opportunities in AURIGA:

Title: Joint Data Analysis of Gravitational Wave Detectors

Tutor: Prof. Giovanni Andrea Prodi
Site: INFN at Trento, c/o Physics Dept., University of Trento

The search for gravitational waves (gw) requires the implementation of a joint data analysis methodology within a network of detectors. Our group implemented a burst gw search over the five resonant bar detectors under the International Gravitational Event Collaboration ( The results of the observations in the years 1997-2000 have been published (Phys. rev. D, in press; The current research on joint data analysis includes unfolding (i.e. estimation the paramenters of the model describing the gw sources), time coincidence search among triggers at different detectors, coherent methods of data filtering among resonant detectors and interferometric detectors. The types of gw signal under investigation include bursts, short transients, quasi-periodic signals and stochastic background.

During the stage, the student can learn about advanced statistical techniques of data analysis and computer programming. Most of all, the student will have the opportunity to study actual data of detectors in a group with a long experience in the field. A basic knowledge of statistics and computer programming is recommended. 

Title: Efficiency of signal conversion in capacitive transducers

Tutor: Dr. Luca Taffarello
Site: INFN at Padova, c/o Physics Dept., University of Padova

The development of motion transducers with higher efficiency of conversion between displacement (or force) and electrical signals is a crucial issue in many experimental research areas, in particular for gravitational wave detectors of the resonant type, such as AURIGA. Our group is developing electromechanical capacitive transducers aiming at an increase of their signal conversion efficiency. The breakdown field of the transducer material will be investigated in order to set up a specific surface preparation procedure. New transducer schemes will be
investigated as well, in particular for non resonant and very high bandwidth schemes of gravitational waves detection.

During the stage, the student can learn about advanced experimental techniques involving cryogenics, vacuum equipments, electronic instrumentation and electromechanical transducer systems.

Title: Low noise SQUIDs coupled to high Q resonators

Tutor: Dr. Paolo Falferi
Site: INFN at Trento, c/o Physics Dept., University of Trento

Two important elements for the sensitivity of the resonant gravitational wave detectors are the sensitivity of the SQUID amplifier and its ability to operate with a resonating input load.
As every cool down of the detector takes a lot of time (1 month) and large amounts of cryogenic liquids, it is useful to simulate the resonating load at the input of the SQUID amplifier. To that end we have developed LC electrical resonators operating at audio frequencies with Q of the order of 1 million and strongly coupled to SQUID amplifiers (see for example A. Vinante et al., Appl. Phys. Lett. 79, 2597 (2001)). These systems present problems similar to those of the g. w. detector but offer much shorter thermal cycles.
The experimental activity consists in noise measurements at cryogenic (1.5-4.2 K) and ultracryogenic (down to 100 mK) temperatures on SQUID amplifiers operated both open input and strongly coupled to LC resonators 

During the stage, the student can learn about vacuum, cryogenic, and ultracryogenic techniques, superconducting shielding and electronics and data analysis.

Title: Investigating the AURIGA performances: noise characterization and event reconstruction

Tutor: Dr. Antonello Ortolan
Site: INFN Legnaro National Laboratories

The AURIGA detector will start its 2nd science run in summer 2003 and it is preparing to join other detectors, ifos and bars, for gravitational wave searches. This project will make use of the data analysis tools developed by the AURIGA group to fully characterize the detector output, namely: i) (quasi-)stationariety and gaussianity of the noise, ii) event reconstruction and identification of spuria vs genuine mechanical excitations, iii) data quality, etc. A complete test of the detector performance is done by injecting simulated gw signal over the actual noisy output of the detector and using the AURIGA data analisys to recover them by means of the appropriate template. 

The student should have some experience using C, C++ languages and the Linux OS and will learn about programming and basic signal processing.