Université de GenèveDépartement de Physique ThéoriqueCAP Genève

Gravitational waves

In the theory of Einstein, gravity manifests itself by means of a dynamical space and time;
according to this vision, gravitational waves (GW) can be thought as "ripples" of space-time.

An artist's vision fo the gravitational waves created by an inspiralling binary

More concretely, the effect of a gravitational wave passing by is an oscillatory (tiny) variation of the distance between two free-falling bodies. It is by measuring such variations through the km-sized interferometers LIGO and VIRGO, that scientists have recently detected GW's.

GW are produced by enormous quantities of accelerating mass, occurring in such events as supernovae explosions and binary mergers, but also in violent phenomena that took place in the earliest epochs of the Universe.

Gravitational waves had already been indirectly observed in the Nobel Prize-awarded work by Hulse-Taylor. This has provided a precise confirmation of Einstein's theory of General Relativity. The recent direct detection (but also their possible indirect observation in the CMB) will provide even more stringent test on General Relativity as well as a completely new window on our Universe: as ordinary matter is basically transparent to GW's, we can in fact use them to get informations from regions inaccessible to photon-based observations, like for example the internal composition of stars, or the state of the Universe before the CMB epoch.

Recent publications and presentations on this topic
Date: 25. November 2019
Members involved: Valerio De Luca, Gabriele Franciolini, Alexandros Kehagias, Antonio Riotto
Topics: Gravitational waves
Type: Publication
Date: 30. September 2019
Members involved: Valerio De Luca, Gabriele Franciolini, Antonio Riotto
Topics: Gravitational waves, Primordial Black Holes
Type: Publication
Date: 2. August 2019
Members involved: Antonio Riotto
Topics: Gravitational waves, Non-Gaussianity
Type: Publication
Date: 3. July 2019
Members involved: Camille Bonvin
Topics: Gravitational waves, LISA
Type: Publication
Date: 3. July 2019
Members involved: Enis Belgacem, Andreas Finke, Stefano Foffa, Michele Maggiore
Topics: Gravitational waves, Modified gravity
Type: Publication
Date: 2. July 2019
Members involved: Enis Belgacem, Stefano Foffa, Michele Maggiore
Topics: Gravitational waves, Dark energy, Modified gravity
Type: Publication
Date: 1. July 2019
Members involved: Charles Dalang, Lucas Lombriser
Topics: Gravitational waves, Modified gravity
Type: Publication
Date: 4. June 2019
Members involved: Enis Belgacem, Charles Dalang, Stefano Foffa, Lucas Lombriser, Michele Maggiore
Topics: Gravitational waves, LISA, Modified gravity, Dark energy
Type: Publication
Date: 3. June 2019
Members involved: Valerio De Luca, Vincent Desjacques, Gabriele Franciolini, Antonio Riotto
Topics: Gravitational waves, Primordial Black Holes
Type: Publication
Date: 21. March 2019
Members involved: Enis Belgacem, Stefano Foffa, Michele Maggiore
Topics: Gravitational waves, Early Universe, Dark energy, Modified gravity, Dark matter
Type: Publication

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Université de Genève
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