Gravitational waves were predicted by Einstein in 1916, but took a century to be directly detected. Now a network of Advanced laser inteferometric detectors, two in the US (Advanced LIGO), one each in Italy (Virgo), Japan (KAGRA) and India (LIGO-India), are being built, with unprecdented sensitivity. The first of these, Advanced LIGO, began scientficic operations in 2015, making their first detection of gravitational waves very shortly afterwards. The detectors will undergo further upgrades over coming years to increase their sensitivity further.
Our group is engaged in modelling astronomical sources of gravitational waves, in particular the strong field dynamics of binary black holes. We search for gravitational waves from inspiralling and merging binary neutron stars and black holes, stellar collapse and supernovae, glitching and flaring neutron stars, gamma-ray burst sources, and unknown or unexpected sources. We also work on how to extract astrophysical and cosmological information from the observed signals.
Plans are already underway to design the next generation of gravitaitonal wave detectors. The group is leading the science case in support of the Einstein Telescope - a future undergroud detector with ten times better amplitude sensitivity than Advanced detectors. We co-authored the white paper submitted to ESA on the space-based eLISA mission.