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A stochastic background of gravitational waves is expected to arise from a superposition of a large number of unresolved gravitational-wave sources of astrophysical and cosmological origin. It should carry unique signatures from the earliest epochs in the evolution of the Universe, inaccessible to standard astrophysical observations. Direct measurements of… (More)
We describe a model evaluating changes in the optical isolation of a Faraday isolator when passing from air to vacuum in terms of different thermal effects in the crystal. The changes are particularly significant in the crystal thermal lensing (refraction index and thermal expansion) and in its Verdet constant and can be ascribed to the less efficient… (More)
Off-axis parabolic telescopes, widely used in astronomy and laser optics, if perfectly tuned, are virtually free from aberrations along the parabola's axis direction, but their alignment is very critical. We present a detailed method to align a high magnification off-axis afocal parabolic telescope. The method is composed of two steps: an initial… (More)
In-vacuum Faraday isolators (FIs) are used in gravitational wave interferometers to prevent the disturbance caused by light reflected back to the input port from the interferometer itself. The efficiency of the optical isolation is becoming more critical with the increase of laser input power. An in-vacuum FI, used in a gravitational wave experiment… (More)
The Virgo interferometer, aimed at detecting gravitational waves, is now in a commissioning phase. Measurements of its optical properties are needed for the understanding of the instrument. We present the techniques developed for the measurement of the optical parameters of Virgo. These parameters are compared with the Virgo specifications.