Birth and initial developments of experiments with resonant detectors searching for gravitational waves
INFN Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati,
Via Enrico Fermi,
b e-mail: email@example.com
Received in final form: 5 August 2016
Published online: 6 October 2016
A history of the experiments for the search of gravitational waves, with emphasis on the experiments made by the Rome group, is given. The search for gravitational waves was initiated by the brilliant scientific acumen of Joseph Weber. In this paper we start from the early times of the resonant detectors at room temperature and continue with the cryogenic resonant detectors: STANFORD, ALLEGRO, AURIGA, EXPLORER, NAUTILUS and NIOBE. These cryogenic detectors reached a sensitivity able to observe gravitational waves generated by the conversion of about 0.001 solar masses in the Galaxy. This was an improvement by a factor of a few thousand in energy with respect to the early room temperature experiments. No clear signals due to gravitational waves have been observed with this technique. This research, that has lasted four decades, has paved the way to the more sensitive detectors for gravitational waves, the long-arm laser interferometers, which announced, on February 12th 2016, the first observation of gravitational waves.
During the years several physicists contributed to the Rome experiment for the search of gravitational waves: Edoardo Amaldi, Pia Astone, Danilo Babusci, Sergio Barbanera, Massimo Bassan, Romano Bizzarri, Paolo Bonifazi, Franco Bordoni, Pasquale Carelli, Gabriella Castellano, Giorgio Cavallari, Massimo Cerdonio, Eugenio Coccia, Carlo Cosmelli, Sabrina D’Antonio, Antonio Degasperis, Viviana Fafone, Valeria Ferrari, Vittorio Foglietti, Sergio Frasca, Masa-Katsu Fujimoto, Franco Fuligni, Massimo Gabellieri, Gianfranco Giordano, Umberto Giovanardi, Roberto Habel, Valerio Iafolla, Ettore Majorana, Alessandro Marini, Evan Mauceli, Yuri Minenkov, Ivo Modena, Giuseppina Modestino, Arturo Moleti, GianPaolo Murtas, Yujiro Ogawa, Giovanni Vittorio Pallottino, Guido Pizzella, Lina Quintieri, Piero Rapagnani, Fulvio Ricci Alessio Rocchi, Francesco Ronga, Roberto Terenzi, Guido Torrioli, Giuliano Vannaroni, Massimo Visco, Lucia Votano.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag 2016