Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

Precision Gravity: From the LHC to LISA

Project description

High-precision theoretical predictions are key to gravitational wave research

The observation of gravitational waves by LIGO/VIRGO launched a new era for astronomy. The discovery potential of this nascent field hinges upon the ability to make precise theoretical predictions based on data analysis and interpretation of signals. The goal of the EU-funded LHCtoLISA project is to push forward the frontiers of analytic understanding in gravitational dynamics through the 'Effective Field Theory' framework. The novel formalism recently developed by the project has been instrumental for the construction of the state-of-the-art template bank. The high-accuracy calculations the project will undertake could have enormous implications, from probing strongly interacting matter to enabling the discovery of exotic compact objects and putative ultralight particles in nature.


The nascent field of gravitational wave (GW) science will be an interdisciplinary subject, enriching different branches of physics, yet the associated computational challenges are enormous. Faithful theoretical templates are a compulsory ingredient for successful data analysis and reliable physical interpretation of the signals. This is critical, for instance, to study the equation of state of neutron stars, the nature of black holes, and binary formation channels. However, while current templates for compact binary sources may be sufficient for detection and crude parameter estimation, they are too coarse for precision physics with GW data. We then find ourselves in a situation in which, for key processes within empirical reach, theoretical uncertainties may dominate. To move forward, profiting the most from GW observations, more accurate waveforms will be needed.
I have played a pioneering role in the development and implementation of a new formalism, known as the ‘effective field theory approach’, which has been instrumental for the construction of the state-of-the-art GW template bank. The goal of my proposal is thus to redefine the frontiers of analytic understanding in gravity through the effective field theory framework. Even more ambitiously, to go beyond the current computational paradigm with powerful tools which have been crucial for `new-physics' searches at the Large Hadron Collider.
The impact of the high-accuracy calculations I propose to undertake will be immense: from probes of dynamical spacetime and strongly interacting matter, to the potential to discover exotic compact objects and ultra-light particles in nature. Furthermore, GW observations scan gravity in a regime which is otherwise unexplored. Consequently, the coming decade will tell whether Einstein's theory withstands precision scrutiny. In summary, my program will provide novel techniques and key results that will enable foundational investigations in physics through GW precision data.



Net EU contribution
€ 1 975 000,00
Notkestrasse 85
22607 Hamburg

See on map

Hamburg Hamburg Hamburg
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (1)