Dr Mow-Lowry’s research is focussed in improving the operation of gravitational-wave detectors with high laser power, and improving their low-frequency sensitivity and stability with active seismic isolation.
Advanced LIGO already uses the best commercial inertial sensing devices available, so it is necessary to develop new devices. Dr Mow-Lowry is applying the techniques and understanding developed during the construction of gravitational-wave detectors into inertial sensing devices to improve their linearity, sensitivity, and low-frequency performance.
Interferometers operating at high powers, such as the LIGO observatories, exhibit many complex non-linear effects involving optical springs and damping. Some of these can be tailored to improve performance (opto-mechanical signal enhancement) and some of them lead to operational failure (parametric instabilities). Dr Mow-Lowry is testing new methods for improving sensitivity and robustness in high-power interferometers.
Previously Dr Mow-Lowry has developed squeezed light sources capable of reducing quantum noise, measured the thermal noise of a high-quality suspension, and developed an active seismic isolation system.