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This article from 2010 titled Quantum metrology for gravitational wave astronomy, 6 years before the announcement of the first direct detection of gravitational waves from a binary black hole merger, states that:

Recent advances in quantum metrology may now contribute to provide the required sensitivity boost. The so-called squeezed light is able to quantum entangle the high-power laser fields in the interferometer arms, and could have a key role in the realization of GW astronomy.

My question: is that what happened? Are squeezed states of light used in the LIGO laser cavities? If so, did they lead to a boost in detector sensitivity that allowed for the ensuing detections?... or is it instead likely that the detections might have occurred without this application of squeezed light states?

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The initial detections were made without using squeezed light.

Squeezed light was introduced in early 2019. It has the effect of increasing the detection sensitivity by about 15% above 50 Hz (Tse et al. 2019). Since gravitational wave strain scales inversely with distance, this expands the surveyed volume by about 50%.

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  • $\begingroup$ Though the performance improvement is not astronomical, the upgrade in the underlying technology sounds generational! :-) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jul 14 at 1:06

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