Gravitational waves and cosmology

David J. Weir - University of Helsinki - davidjamesweir

This talk:

What is a gravitational wave?

Sources: Wikimedia; ESA
Source: NASA
Source: (CC-BY) Andrea Nguyen on Flickr

About LIGO

  • 2 sites: Livingston, LA; Hanford Site, WA
  • Sister project in Europe: VIRGO
  • Cost: about a billion USD

LIGO at the Hanford Site

Source: (CC-BY-NC-ND) Prachatai
LIGO design

First direct detection: GW150914

LISA (and LISA pathfinder)

To look at longer wavelengths, need to go into space!

Sources: LISA; BBC


LISA mission profile

  • LISA: three arms (six lasers), 2.5 M km separation
  • Launch by 2034

Source: LISA.

Possible signals

Source: LISA proposal.

Pulsar timing arrays

Source: David Champion via MPIfR

Pulsar timing arrays

  • One the biggest single users of radio telescope time
  • And the most demanding of solar system ephemerides!
Source: NSF via Wikipedia

Cosmic strings

Credit: David Daverio

Cosmic string loops

Cosmic string cusps

Credit: Ken Olum

Higgs boson

How did the Higgs get that way?

Matter-antimatter asymmetry

The end of inflation

Source: 1506.06895.
Thank you!