4th issue available

Installation of the Advanced LIGO detector at LIGO Livingston
For the past three and a half years, the assembly and installation of the Advanced LIGO (aLIGO) detectors has been in progress at both LIGO Observatories. The process began in October 2010 ,and now, in March 2014, the first installation is near completion at the Livingston Observatory.

History of Advanced LIGO Coating Research
The Advanced LIGO coating story starts with a 1998 paper written by Yuri Levin, then with Kip Thorne’s group at Caltech. Levin described a way to use the fluctuation-dissipation theorem (FDT) to directly calculate the thermal noise arising from an interferometer mirror.

Looking to the Future: LIGO and Virgo in 2020
At each successive LIGO-Virgo meeting there is a palpable excitement about the progress of the second generation gravitational-wave  interferometers. But this excitement is not confined to our Collaborations; there is also growing enthusiasm among the wider astronomy community for the science that can be done with Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo. And with little surprise - the history of astronomy shows that the opening of each new waveband has revealed new insights into the Universe.

Starting right: Building an LSC clean lab from the ground up
In the fall of 2010, Stefan Ballmer arrived at Syracuse University with the goal of building an angular optical trap; a tabletop demonstration of angular control that could be used to eliminate angular sensing noise in future interferometric gravitational wave  detectors, increasing sensitivity. The experiment would use radiation pressure from two pairs of beams, controlling the position and angular degrees of freedom of a half-gram mirror, to keep the mirror “trapped” at a fixed length and orientation relative to a larger, more massive mirror.

On the life and death of simulation codes
People who are using optical simulations should be aware that many simulation packages developed in the gravitational wave collaborations have a relatively short lifetime compared to commercial software such as Zemax, ANSYS or Matlab. As we will see,
this is intrinsic to the development model practiced within the gravitational wave community where one code is usually developed by only one person.

Checking in with LIGO Public Outreach
Do your neighbors know anything about gravitational waves? What about your distant relatives, your children’s friends, or the non-science majors at your university? LIGO continues its quest to make the answer a “yes” for all by bringing an ever-expanding array of public outreach activities and programs to venues and outlets that span the spectrum from local to international. Groups across the LSC are joining with the LIGO Laboratory to invite all sectors of the public to experience the science, technology and people that are making gravitational wave astronomy real.