Development of a portable diagnostic breadboard for laser beam characterization

European Gravitational Observatory

Internship 5 months Cascina, Italy

Uploaded 23 Dec 2018

Job Description

The Virgo interferometer is the most sensitive gravitational-wave detector in Europe. It is indeed of great interest to perfectly know the characteristics of the beam that is used and its temporal fluctuation. For example, while using crystals for laser and interferometric applications (electro-optic modulator, Faraday isolator, Laser power amplification, second harmonic generation...) or optical fibers, one needs to know the information at the input to maximize the efficiency of the component and at the output to see how the input beam has been deteriorate through the component. The Optics Group would like to develop a portable diagnostic breadboard that would be used in the optics laboratories to characterize any beam on any bench.

So the idea is to have a portable diagnostic breadboard that could be easily move from a bench to another and provide the needed information. As a first step it would give information on power fluctuation, beam jitter, but also on the mode content of the beam thanks to a mode filtering optical cavity. Depending on the time remaining it could also be improved by adding an arduino-based polarimeter and a wavefront analyzer that would give the characteristics of the Gaussian beam under study. Within the Optics Group, the student will be in charge to design this breadboard, to set it up and to carry out some tests to validate its functioning. She/he will have the opportunity to work on various aspects of the fields: mainly optics, but also to collaborate with the electronics and mechanics groups at EGO. 

Interested candidates are invited to fill in the Internship Application Form and send it, together with the CV, to [email protected] For the whole duration of the internship, EGO will pay a gross monthly wage of 500,00 euro, the accommodation and the lunch at its canteen during working days.

Person Specification

  • Applicants should be in their last years of study in optics or physics. The work will be at a level of Master thesis (equivalent to thesis for "laurea specialistica" in Italian). 
  • English required. 
  • Good attitude to experimental work is mandatory.
  • Knowledge in Python will be an asset. 
  • European citizenship, no criminal convictions. 


    • EU National