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  1. We describe the design of optimized multilayer dielectric coatings for precision laser interferometry. By setting up an appropriate cost function and then using a global optimizer to find a minimum in the parameter space, we were able to realize coating designs that meet the design requirements for spectral reflectivity, thermal noise, absorption, and tolerances to coating fabrication errors. We also present application of a Markov-Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) based parameter estimation algorithm that can infer thicknesses of dielectric layers in a coating, given a measurement of the spectral reflectivity. This technique can be a powerful diagnostic tool for both commercial coating manufacturers, and the community using dielectric mirrors for precision metrology experiments.

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  2. Optical losses degrade the sensitivity of laser interferometric instruments. They reduce the number of signal photons and introduce technical noise associated with diffuse light. In quantum-enhanced metrology, they break the entanglement between correlated photons. Such decoherence is one of the primary obstacles in achieving high levels of quantum noise reduction in precision metrology. In this work, we compare direct measurements of cavity and mirror losses in the Caltech 40 m gravitational-wave detector prototype interferometer with numerical estimates obtained from semi-analytic intra-cavity wavefront simulations using mirror surface profile maps. We show a unified approach to estimating the total loss in optical cavities (such as the LIGO gravitational detectors) that will lead towards the engineering of systems with minimum decoherence for quantum-enhanced precision metrology.

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  3. Abstract The global network of gravitational-wave detectors has completed three observing runs with ∼50 detections of merging compact binaries. A third LIGO detector, with comparable astrophysical reach, is to be built in India (LIGO-Aundha) and expected to be operational during the latter part of this decade. Such additions to the network increase the number of baselines and the network SNR of GW events. These enhancements help improve the sky-localization of those events. Multiple detectors simultaneously in operation will also increase the baseline duty factor, thereby, leading to an improvement in the detection rates and, hence, the completeness of surveys. In this paper, we quantify the improvements due to the expansion of the LIGO global network in the precision with which source properties will be measured. We also present examples of how this expansion will give a boost to tests of fundamental physics. 
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