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: 20. December 2022
Members involved: Alberto Roper Pol
Topics: Gravitational waves, Early Universe, Modified gravity, Phase transitions
Type: Publication
Date: 13. December 2022
Members involved: Simona Procacci
Topics: Gravitational waves, Cosmic Inflation
Type: Publication
Date: 21. October 2022
Members involved: Francesco Iacovelli, Michele Mancarella, Stefano Foffa, Michele Maggiore
Topics: Gravitational waves, ET
Type: Publication
Date: 5. July 2022
Members involved: Charles Dalang
Topics: lensing, Gravitational waves
Type: Publication
Date: 1. June 2022
Members involved: Andreas Finke, Stefano Foffa, Francesco Iacovelli, Michele Maggiore, Michele Mancarella
Topics: Gravitational waves, Modified gravity, statistical methods in cosmology, Dark energy, Dark Sirens
Type: Publication
Date: 13. May 2022
Members involved: Simona Procacci
Topics: Gravitational waves, Reheating epoch, Axions
Type: Publication
Date: 15. March 2022
Members involved: Michele Mancarella, Michele Maggiore
Topics: Gravitational waves, statistical methods in cosmology, Dark Sirens, Dark energy, Black Holes
Type: Publication
Date: 24. January 2022
Members involved: Giulia Cusin, Valerio De Luca, Antonio Riotto
Topics: Gravitational waves, LISA
Type: Publication
Date: 29. November 2021
Members involved: Azadeh Moradinezhad
Topics: Gravitational waves, Line Intensity Mapping
Type: Publication
Date: 20. October 2021
Members involved: Antonio Riotto, Lucas Lombriser
Topics: Early Universe, Gravitational waves, Massive neutrinos, Dark matter, Dark energy, Statistical Inference
Type: Publication



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Université de Genève
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