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Optical frequency standards for gravitational wave detection

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Gravitational waves (GW) imprint apparent Doppler shifts on the frequency of photons propagating between an emitter and detector of light. This forms the basis of a method to detect mHz GW using Doppler velocimetry between pairs of satellites [1]. The crucial component in such GW detectors is the frequency standard on board the emitting and receiving satellites. I will discuss how recent developments in atomic clock technology have led to devices that could be sufficiently sensitive to probe astrophysically interesting sources. I will present a design for a robust, space-capable optical frequency standard [2], that is being developed at York.


[1] JW Armstrong, Living Rev. Relativity 9, (2006), 1 [2] AC Vutha, arXiv:1501.01733 (2015)