Gravitational waves (GWs) were observed for the first time in 2015, one century after Einstein predicted their existence. There is now growing interest to extend the detection bandwidth to low frequency. The scientific potential of multi-frequency GW astronomy is enormous as it would enable to obtain a more complete picture of cosmic events and mechanisms. This is a unique and entirely new opportunity for the future of astronomy, the success of which depends upon the decisions being made on existing and new infrastructures. The prospect of combining observations from the future space-based instrument LISA together with third generation ground based detectors will open the way toward multi-band GW astronomy, but will leave the infrasound (0.1-10 Hz) band uncovered. GW detectors based on matter wave interferometry promise to fill such a sensitivity gap. We propose the European Laboratory for Gravitation and Atom-interferometric Research (ELGAR), an underground infrastructure based on the latest progress in atomic physics, to study space-time and gravitation with the primary goal of detecting GWs in the infrasound band. ELGAR will directly inherit from large research facilities now being built in Europe for the study of large scale atom interferometry and will drive new pan-European synergies from top research centers developing quantum sensors. ELGAR will measure GW radiation in the infrasound band with a peak strain sensitivity of 3.3 × 10-22/√Hz at 1.7 Hz. The antenna will have an impact on diverse fundamental and applied research fields beyond GW astronomy, including gravitation, general relativity, and geology.
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Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the . Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. AB acknowledges support from the ANR (project EOSBECMR), IdEx Bordeaux—LAPHIA (project OE-TWR), theQuantERA ERA-NET (project TAIOL) and the Aquitaine Region (projets IASIG3D and USOFF). XZ thanks the China Scholarships Council (No. 201806010364) program for financial support. JJ thanks ‘AssociationNationale de la Recherche et de la Technologie’ for financial support (No. 2018/1565). SvAb, NG, SL, EMR, DS, and CS gratefully acknowledge support by the German Space Agency (DLR) with funds provided by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) due to an enactment of the German Bundestag under Grants No. DLR∼50WM1641 (PRIMUS-III), 50WM1952 (QUANTUS-V-Fallturm), and 50WP1700 (BECCAL), 50WM1861 (CAL), 50WM2060 (CARIOQA) as well as 50RK1957 (QGYRO) SvAb, NG, SL, EMR, DS, and CS gratefully acknowledge support by ‘Nieders�chsisches Vorab’ through the ‘Quantum- and Nano-Metrology (QUANOMET)’ initiative within the project QT3, and through ‘F�rderung von Wissenschaft und Technik in Forschung und Lehre’ for the initial funding of research in the new DLR-SI Institute, the CRC 1227 DQ-mat within the projects A05 and B07 DS gratefully acknowledges funding by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) through the funding program Photonics Research Germany under contract number 13N14875. RG acknowledges Ville de Paris (Emergence programme HSENS-MWGRAV), ANR (project PIMAI) and the Fundamental Physics and Gravitational Waves (PhyFOG) programme of Observatoire de Paris for support. We also acknowledge networking support by the COST actions GWverse CA16104 and AtomQT CA16221 (Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union). The work was also supported by the German Space Agency (DLR) with funds provided by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) due to an enactment of the German Bundestag under Grant Nos.∼50WM1556, 50WM1956 and 50WP1706 as well as through the DLR Institutes DLR-SI and DLR-QT. PA-S, MN, and CFS acknowledge support from contracts ESP2015-67234-P and ESP2017-90084-P from the Ministry of Economy and Business of Spain (MINECO), and from contract 2017-SGR-1469 from AGAUR (Catalan government). SvAb, NG, SL, EMR, DS, and CS gratefully acknowledge support by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) under Germany’s Excellence Strategy—EXC-2123 QuantumFrontiers—390837967 (B2) andCRC1227 ‘DQ-mat’ within projects A05, B07 and B09. LAS thanks Sorbonne Universit�s (Emergence project LORINVACC) and Conseil Scientifique de l'Observatoire de Paris for funding. This work was realized with the financial support of the French State through the ‘Agence Nationale de la Recherche’ (ANR) in the frame of the ‘MRSEI’ program (Pre-ELGAR ANR-17-MRS5-0004-01) and the ‘Investissement d'Avenir’ program (Equipex MIGA: ANR-11-EQPX-0028, IdEx Bordeaux—LAPHIA: ANR-10-IDEX-03-02). yes � 2020 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
© 2020 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd.
- cold atoms
- gravitational waves
- matter-wave interferometry
- research infrastructure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)