Quick Questions on Virgo: “What is Advanced Virgo?”

This post is part of a series about quick questions and answers about the Virgo experiment and the science of gravitational waves. Do you have a quick question yourself? Tell us and we will reply!

“What is Advanced Virgo?”

Advanced Virgo is the major upgrade of the Virgo detector. In 2011, at the end of the last period of data taking, all the essential components of Virgo were dismounted and are now being replaced by improved ones for Advanced Virgo: this will lead to a boost in sensitivity of a factor of ten, meaning that it will be possible to probe distances ten times larger and explore a volume of the Universe a thousand times larger than that probed by initial Virgo.

View of the superattenuators, platform and scaffholding inside Virgo central building (January 2016)

Five interferometer mirrors and two benches are suspended to superattenuators in the central building.
The superattenuators are a complex mechanical system used to isolate the mirrors and benches from the seismic noise. Moreover, they are enclosed in vacuum in order to isolate them from acoustic noise. Five superattenuators are visible in this picture, four with the vacuum enclosure closed (\”towers\”) and the new one added for Advanced Virgo being mounted.
Credits: Cyril Frésillon/Virgo/Photothèque CNRS

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