The gravitational-wave sky has been opened by the first measurement of a gravitational-wave inspiral in 2015 by LIGO. Now, the European detector Virgo has joined the network, and more terrestrial detectors are underway. Furthermore, the European space agency has approved the space-based Laser interferometer space antenna (LISA) as one of its three highest-priority missions for the 2030s. The scientific capabilities of LISA provide European science with a chance to be at the absolute cutting edge of gravitational-wave astronomy.
The sensitivity of LISA will be in the in the millihertz gravitational-wave band. One of the most prominent and interesting sources seen in this band are the so-called extreme mass ratio inspirals (EMRIs), where a light, stellar-mass compact object spirals into a super-massive black hole. However, at the moment the precise predictions for the evolution of EMRIs are not ready, and this, if not rectified, would imply lower yields of valuable science to be obtained from the LISA mission. The subject of this proposal is to contribute to the development of these precise predictions, and to prepare for the discovery of new fundamental science with LISA and other gravitational-wave detectors.
Even though the launch of LISA is more than 10 years in the future, the mathematical and technical challenge of providing the precise predictions is extremely non-trivial, and intense work must thus be initiated now. This research project will not only contribute a significant part of the work needed, but it will also allow the applicant to acquire the necessary skill and network to become one of the leading figures in the field of gravitational-wave theory.
Call for proposal
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