The New Science of Gravitational Waves - AstrophysicsReport as inadecuate

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Abstract: A brief survey is presented of new science that will emerge during thedecades ahead from direct detection of gravitational radiation. Interferometerson earth and in space will probe the universe in an entirely new way bydirectly sensing motions of distant matter over a range of more than a millionin frequency. The most powerful sources of gravitational or indeed any formof energy in the universe are inspiralling and merging binary black holes;with LISA data, they will become the most distant, most completely andprecisely modeled, and most accurately measured systems in astronomy outsidethe solar system. Other sources range from already known and named nearbyGalactic binary stars, to compact objects being swallowed by massive blackholes, to possible effects of new physics: phase transitions and superstringsfrom the early universe, or holographic noise from quantum fluctuations oflocal spacetime.

Author: Craig J. Hogan


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