Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department


Reader 1

Adam Landsberg

Reader 2

Mark Huber

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2018 Aria S Chaderjian


Adaptive optics work to reduce optical losses in the LIGO detectors, making them more sensitive to gravitational wave events. Mode-mismatch between the coupled optical cavities, caused by uncertainty in the radii of curvature and orientation of the interferometer optics, is one of the main sources of loss in Advanced LIGO. Thermal actuators are used to dynamically change the radius of curvature of certain interferometer optics, allowing mode mismatches to be reduced. Finely tunable astigmatic mirrors have the potential to be very useful in gravitational wave detectors for beam reflections at non-normal incidence, but have never been tested. These astigmatic composite mirrors are constructed by bonding a fused silica mirror to a non-axially-symmetric metal plate. When heated, the mirror is differentially distorted in the x- and y-directions due to its asymmetric design, resulting in an elliptical reflected beam profile. We model and test an initial mirror design, finding that it does, in fact, act as an astigmatic mirror. This finding opens a new avenue towards development of adaptive optics for current and next-generation gravitational wave detectors.


This research was conducted in collaboration with LIGO researchers at Caltech.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.