Professor Thomas Sotirio from the University of Nottingham’s Center for Gravity and Andrea Massili, a GSSI researcher and an associate at INFN, along with researchers from SISSA and La Sapienza in Rome, have demonstrated the unprecedented accuracy with which gravitational waves have been observed from the space antenna of the Laser Interferometer (LISA) She will be able to discover new core areas. The research was published in the journal Nature Astronomy.
In this new study, the researchers propose that LISA, a space-based gravitational-wave (GW) detector expected to be launched by the European Space Agency in 2037, will open up new possibilities for exploring the universe.
Professor Thomas Sotero, Director of the Center of Gravity in Nottingham explains: “New core fields, in particular staircases, have been proposed in a variety of scenarios: as explanations for dark matter, as a cause of the accelerating expansion of the universe, or as low-energy manifestations of a coherent and complete description of gravity and elementary particles. We have shown Now that LISA will offer unprecedented capabilities in scalar field detection, this provides exciting opportunities to test these scenarios.”
Observations of astrophysical objects with weak gravitational fields and a small curvature of spacetime have not provided any evidence for such fields. However, there is reason to expect that deviations from general relativity, or interactions between gravity and new fields, will be more pronounced at large bends. For this reason, the discovery of GW – which opened a new window on the gravitational system of the strong field – presents a unique opportunity to discover these fields.
Maximum mass ratio inspirations (EMRI) in which a compressed stellar body, a black hole or a neutron star, is sucked into a black hole with a mass of millions of times the mass of the Sun, are among the target sources for LISA and provide a golden arena for probing the strong field’s gravitational system. The smallest object makes tens of thousands of orbital revolutions before sinking into the supermassive black hole and this results in long signals that can allow us to detect even the smallest deviations from the predictions of Einstein’s theory and the Standard Model of particle physics.
The researchers developed a new approach to signal modeling and for the first time rigorously estimated the ability of LISA to detect the presence of scalar fields associated with gravitational interaction and to measure the amount of scalar field carried by a small object. . Surprisingly, this approach is theoretically agnostic, since it does not depend on the origin of the charge itself or the nature of the small object. The analysis also shows that this measurement can be set to strong limits for theoretical parameters that define deviations from general relativity or the Standard Model.
LISA will be dedicated to detecting gravitational waves from astrophysical sources, and will operate in a constellation of three satellites, orbiting the Sun millions of kilometers from each other. LISA will detect gravitational waves emitted at low frequency, within a range not available to ground-based interferometers due to environmental noise. The visible spectrum of LISA will allow us to study new families of astrophysical sources, distinct from those observed by Virgo and LIGO, such as EMRIs, opening a new window into the evolution of compact objects in a large variety of environments in our world.
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