Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



The most advanced contemporary efforts and concepts for registering gravitational waves are focused on measuring tiny deviations in large arm (kilometers in case of LIGO and thousands of kilometers in case of LISA) interferometers via photons. In this report we discuss a concept for the detection of gravitational waves using an antenna comprised of superconducting electrons (Cooper pairs) moving in an ionic lattice. The major challenge in this approach is that the tidal action of the gravitational waves is extremely weak compared with electromagnetic forces. Any motion caused by gravitational waves, which violates charge neutrality, will be impeded by Coulomb forces acting on the charge carriers (Coulomb blockade) in metals, as well as in superconductors. We discuss a design, which avoids the effects of Coulomb blockade. It exploits two different superconducting materials used in a form of thin wires -“spaghetti.” The spaghetti will have a diameter comparable to the London penetration depth, and length of about 1-10 meters. To achieve competitive sensitivity, the antenna would require billions of spaghettis, which calls for a challenging manufacturing technology. If successfully materialized, the response of the antenna to the known highly periodic sources of gravitational radiation, such as the Pulsar in Crab Nebula will result in an output current, detectable by superconducting electronics. The antenna will require deep (0.3K) cryogenic cooling and magnetic shielding. This design may be a viable successor to LISA and LIGO concepts, having the prospect of higher sensitivity, much smaller size and directional selectivity. This concept of compact antenna may benefit also terrestrial gradiometry.


This article was originally published in Physics Procedia, volume 67, in 2015.

Peer Reviewed




Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.