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General relativity and astrophysics

It is necessary to consider the subtle implications of general relativity when investigating astronomical objects in extreme conditions, such as black holes and neutron stars, and the emission of gravitational waves
General relativity and astrophysics
Einstein's theory of general relativity describes how matter/energy interacts with the geometry of spacetime at a fundamental level. It can also be used to describe all gravitational interactions at stellar, galactic and cosmological scales. Accordingly, different communities usually investigate fundamental aspects of gravitational interactions and their astrophysical implications.

New precision observations of compact objects (black holes and neutron stars) and the advent of gravitational wave astronomy provide us with the unique opportunity to merge these disjointed efforts, and to test fundamental physics with astrophysical observations at an unprecedented level. The goal of the ASTROGRAPHY (Gravity, fundamental physics and astrophysics: The missing link) project was to provide a connection.

The team developed a new theoretical formalism to study the deformability of spinning relativistic compact objects within general relativity. They proved that the so-called Love numbers of a spinning black hole are zero up to second order in the spin, and they computed for the first time the Love numbers for a spinning neutron star within general relativity. These results have important implications for estimates of the effect of rotation in the context of gravitational wave astronomy with advanced detectors (such as aLIGO, aVIRGO and KAGRA).

ASTROGRAPHY investigated possible strong-field tests of general relativity using present and future astrophysical observations. Classical and Quantum Gravity published a Topical Review, and a Focus Issue 'Black Holes and Fundamental Fields' was published on this topic.

Scientists investigated the superradiant instability of spinning black holes in the presence of light bosonic fields. The principal researcher is the co-author of a monograph published by Springer in 2015 on this subject.

The results of this project will have impacts both for gravitational wave astronomy and for fundamental physics. They demonstrate the key role that compact objects play in various areas of research, ranging from astrophysics to particle physics.

The project published nine scientific papers in leading journals, with one monograph published by Springer, one Topical Review and one Focus Issue each published in Classical and Quantum Gravity, and two conference proceedings. All the numerical codes developed and used during this project are publicly available here and the original papers are available through the ArXiv database.

Related information


General relativity, astrophysics, spacetime, gravitational interactions, ASTROGRAPHY, Love numbers
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