BLANC - Blanc

Science de LISA – LISAScience

Submission summary

Gravitational waves, predicted by Einstein, have never been detected directly. However, the observation of binary pulsars gives a strong evidence of their existence. These last years, a worldwide array of interferometric detectors has started to operate in a frequency band from 10 Hz to 104 Hz. The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), projected by ESA and NASA should be launched within the next decade. LISA consists of three satellites in triangular formation. Laser interferometry is used to precisely measure the variation of distance between two spacecrafts (placed 5 millions km apart). The gravitational waves thus detected are in the frequency band 10-4 to 10-1 Hz. A technological mission, LISAPathfinder, is scheduled to be launched in 2009 to test some key technological aspects of LISA. LISA is presently in its formulation phase. Even though we are far from the launch of LISA, there is some urgency to set up the structure of the data analysis, both because it might have influence on some important elements of the mission, and because LISA data analysis has still to prove that it can overcome its main difficulty i.e. source confusion. It is clear that an effort on data analysis has to be paralleled with a stronger commitment to the science of LISA, namely a better understanding of the astrophysical sources of gravitational waves and of their abundancies. It is the main objective of this project to promote stronger collaboration between the French groups involved in order to enhance the scientific production of these groups regarding LISA science. These groups are all part of LISA-France, a consortium of 8 French laboratories (APC, ARTEMIS, IAP, LPSC, LUTh, ONERA, SphT, SYRTE). LISA-France aims at coordinating the efforts of the community interested in the LISA mission in France and to promote internationally the work of this community, especially with space agencies. LISA-France does not receive any funding as such. The activities of the labs in R&D as well as data analysis are funded by CNES. On the other hand, there is no funding for the more theoretically oriented « science » activities. It is the aim of this application to help funding these activities. LISA-France has succeeded to gather members of the various communities involved in LISA : astrophysics, general relativity, particle physics. Compared to the situation in other countries, this is a strength, on which the present proposal expects to build. The project is centered around the study of astrophysical and cosmological sources. Working towards a better understanding of each type of source constitutes a task, coordinated by one member of the group and involving several of the partners. The sources and corresponding tasks are : * resolved binaries * stochastic background of unresolved binaries * coalescence of supermassive black holes * extreme mass ratio inspirals [EMRI] * cosmological background and sources * gravitational radiation and alternative theories to which one adds the transverse tasks : * numerical relativity * coordination with data analysis The aim is to promote collaboration within the group, as well as collaboration with other partners in Europe and in the US. It is also to enrich the participation to the LISA Science working group, set up by the LIST (LISA International Science Team) of ESA and NASA. The expected results are : * an increase in the scientific production of the groups involved regarding the science of LISA. This could be estimated through the publications ; * an increase in the participation of the groups to the conception of the LISA mission. This could be estimated through the participation to events organized by the LISA mission team (LIST and « Science » working group meetings, LISA Symposium,…).

Project coordination

Pierre BINETRUY (Organisme de recherche)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE - DELEGATION REGIONALE ILE-DE-FRANCE SECTEUR PARIS A

Help of the ANR 200,000 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 36 Months

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