The first detections of gravitational waves, GW150914 and GW151226, were associated with the coalescence of stellar mass black holes, heralding the opening of an entirely new way to observe the Universe. Many decades of development were invested to achieve the sensitivities required to observe gravitational waves, with peak strains associated with GW150914 at the level of 10−21
. Gravitational wave detectors currently operate as modified Michelson interferometers, where thermal noise associated with the highly reflective mirror coatings sets a critical limit to the sensitivity of current and future instruments. This article presents an overview of the mirror coating development relevant to gravitational wave detection and the prospective for future developments in the field.
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