Gravitational Waves: Where Will Research Go in the Next 20 Years? (Astronomy)

 review  dedicated to the near future of gravitational wave research has been published in the scientific journal Nature, a topic that has fascinated many in recent years. Among the authors of the roadmap also Marica Branchesi, teacher at GSSI, associated with INFN.

Gravitational waves are one of the areas of research that is giving great emotions and is marked by epochal discoveries, such as their first observation announced by the LIGO-Virgo collaborations in 2016, and the observation of the merger of two neutron stars revealed for the first time, both with gravitational waves from LIGO and VIRGO interferometers, and with electromagnetic radiation from telescopes on the ground and in space, in 2017.

The work focuses on the next twenty years discussing the most important projects for gravitational physics and astronomy in the opinion of the Gravitational Wave International Committee  (GWIC), an organization created in 1997 to facilitate international collaboration and cooperation in the construction and operation of the main infrastructures dedicated to the research of gravitational waves.

Link to the article:

According to Nature, the new observation window of gravitational astronomy will provide data that will transform our current knowledge in the fields of fundamental physics, astrophysics and cosmology.

 Thanks to the future generation of terrestrial observatories planned for 2030, the Einstein Telescope (in Europe) and the Cosmic Explorer (in the USA) and the LISA space mission it will be possible to observe mergers of black holes and neutron stars going back to the beginning of our Universe. Along with interferometric and electromagnetic detectors, Pulsar Timing Arrays (PTAs) telescopes will continue to evolve with new antenna networks, more sensitive and broadband receivers providing unique information on the dynamics of the largest galaxies in the Universe. 

In particular, among the leading projects for the near future: the LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) space detector, which is expected to be launched into orbit around the mid-1930s, and the European observatory Einstein Telescope (ET), which see an important involvement of Italy and the GSSI, also due to the recent appointment of Prof. Fernando Ferroni as project manager. 

 Gravitational-wave physics and astronomy in the 2020s and 2030s: Nature review presents the roadmap.

The near future of gravitational wave research has been published in the scientific journal Nature review. GWs have fascinated many in recent years with many discoveries and related research projects. Among the authors of this roadmap also Marica Branchesi, associate professor at GSSI, and INFN researcher. 

The 100 years since the publication of Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity saw significant development of the understanding of the theory, the identification of potential astrophysical sources of sufficiently strong gravitational waves and development of key technologies for gravitational-wave detectors. In 2015, the first gravitational-wave signals were detected by the two US Advanced LIGO instruments. In 2017, Advanced LIGO and the European Advanced Virgo detectors pinpointed a binary neutron star coalescence that was also seen across the electromagnetic spectrum. The field of gravitational-wave astronomy is just starting, and this Roadmap of future developments surveys the potential for growth in bandwidth and sensitivity of future gravitational-wave detectors,

In particular, among the leading projects for the GW research in the near future: the LISA space detector (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) whose launch into orbit is foreseen in the middle years of 2030s, and the Einstein Telescope (ET), which see an important involvement of Italy and the GSSI, also due to the recent appointment of Prof. Fernando Ferroni in the scientific directorate of the project.

Link to the article:

Reference: Bailes, M., Berger, B.K., Brady, P.R. et al. Gravitational-wave physics and astronomy in the 2020s and 2030s. Nat Rev Phys (2021).

Provided by GSSI

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