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Large European Array for Pulsars

Objective

In general relativity and other relativistic theories of gravity, space and time are combined to form ``space-time'' which is curved in the presence of mass. As masses move, for instance like the two components in a binary system, ripples in space-time are created that propagate through the Universe, very much like waves caused by a stone falling into a pond. These ``gravitational waves'' (GWs) are known to exist from the effect that they have on a system of two orbiting stars. After inferring their existence indirectly, the next great challenge is the {\em direct} detection of GWs. While this is the aim of a number of gravitational wave detectors around the world, a detection has not been made. Fortunately, a method exists that allows us today to detect GWs directly, in a frequency range that is much lower but complementary to those covered by ground-based detectors. This method utilises the radio astronomical observations of a special type of star known as radio pulsars. We propose an experiment to achieve the ground-breaking goal of GW detection with the help of an innovative approach. At the heart of this approach, named LEAP, lies the goal to combine the collective power of Europe's biggest radio-telescopes to form the biggest fully-steerable telescope on Earth, providing a ``leap'' in our sensitivity to go beyond the threshold that delivers the first direct detection of GWs. While the rewards for a successful detection of GWs are immense, we demonstrate that this is possible by harvesting the experience and resources uniquely available in Europe.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/observational astronomy/gravitational waves

Call for proposal

ERC-2008-AdG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-AG - ERC Advanced Grant

Host institution

THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
Address
Oxford Road
M13 9PL Manchester
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 487 248,47
Principal investigator
Michael Kramer (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Liz Fay (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (5)

THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 1 487 248,47
Address
Oxford Road
M13 9PL Manchester
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Michael Kramer (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Liz Fay (Ms.)
Klinik Max Planck Institut für Psychiatrie
Germany
EU contribution
€ 407 080
Address
Hofgartenstrasse 8
80539 Muenchen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Karl-Heinz Böckelmann (Mr.)
OBSERVATOIRE DE PARIS
France
EU contribution
€ 192 775,10
Address
Avenue De L Observatoire 61
75014 Paris
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Mathieu Jacques (Mr.)
STICHTING ASTRON, NETHERLANDS INSTITUTE FOR RADIO ASTRONOMY
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 257 412,98
Address
Oude Hoogeveensedijk 4
7991PD Dwingeloo
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Janneke Wubs-Komdeur (Ms.)
ISTITUTO NAZIONALE DI ASTROFISICA
Italy
EU contribution
€ 110 768,45
Address
Viale Del Parco Mellini 84
00136 Roma
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Renata Schirru (Dr.)