Centre for Particle Theory Colloquia: Fundamental Physics from a Space-Based Gravitational Wave Observatory
18 October 2011 16:15 in CLC 202
The long-standing proposed gravitational wave observatory LISA has been redesigned following the withdrawal of NASA from the project. I shall describe the implications that the new eLISA mission proposal would have for fundamental physics. These include strong-field tests of general relativity, constraints on scalar gravitational fields, searches for exotic objects like cosmic strings, and the determination of the epoch at which seeds for supermassive black holes began to form. This last topic involves observing individual black-hole binaries at redshifts beyond 10, more distant than any astronomical objects seen up to now. If black hole seeds are found to form too early, it will challenge the standard Lambda-CDM cosmology. The talk will review ground-based gravitational wave detection progress, as well as efforts using pulsar timing.
Coffee and biscuits at 15:30 in CM 211 (Maths Coffee Room).