Gravitational Physics

Gravity is one of the four fundamental interactions of nature.   At the CRA, we study gravity’s role in the universe both theoretically and experimentally. Theoretically, we use numerical relativity to predict and interpret gravitational phenomena such as black holes and neutron stars and their corresponding emission of gravitational waves.   We are also members of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and were part of the first detection of gravitational waves and merging black holes.

Gravitational Waves:  are spacetime oscillations caused by the non-uniform acceleration of mass.  The waves travel to our detectors over vast regions of space and time and carry with them the signature of their source.  We study the theoretical prediction of the waveforms from coalescing compact objects, we conduct the data analysis necessary to detect and interpret these waves and characterize the detector data as part of our commitment to the LIGO Scientific Collaboration.

Black holes and neutron stars: are the most compact objects in the universe, where matter is packed to very high densities under the relentless force of gravity. They are ideal tools to study gravity at its most extreme as well as a variety of physical processes that often accompany them, such as accretion of gas and energetic interactions with their environment. At the CRA, we currently investigate several key open questions in this area of research over all three messengers of the cosmos (gravitational, electromagnetic and particle).