Exhibit 150th anniversary RWTHCopyright: © Kuhlbusch / Joppe
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of RWTH Aachen University, an exhibition was held at the Centre Charlemagne from October 30, 2021 to February 13, 2022. In addition to many exhibits on the past and present of the university, we presented an exhibit dedicated to the future: The Einstein Telescope is a next-generation gravitational wave telescope that, by good chance, will be built in the tri-border area near Aachen.
Gravitational waves affect the effective length that laser beams in the arms of the Einstein Telescope travel. The gravitational wave signal can then be measured from the changed travel time of the laser beams. Since the effects of the gravitational waves are much smaller than an atomic nucleus, it is necessary to keep the vibrations of all optical components extremely low. Our exhibit demonstrates one of the many essential technologies of the Einstein Telescope: Suspensions for the mirrors that decouple them from vibrations of the ground.
To illustrate this, two mirrors are mounted on a vibrating plate. The one on the right is attached directly to the plate, while the left one is suspended by two threads. The vibrations of the vibrating plate are clearly visible in the right mirror and blur the mirror image. A clear image is visible in the left, suspended, mirror. Due to the threads, only a small part of the vibrations is transferred to the inert mirror here.