In 1916 Albert Einstein published probably his most important work, the theory of general relativity. General relativity provided a revolutionary description of gravity, that strides away from the classical concept introduced by Isaac Newton of a force acting instantaneously between bodies. With this theory, Einstein introduced the idea of gravity as a pure geometric feature, related to the curvature of spacetime.

Over the years, numerous experiments have confirmed the predictions of general relativity. In particular, one of the most important confirmations of the theory has been the detection of gravitational waves, occurred on 14th of September 2015, when the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) revealed the merger of two stellar black holes through the gravitational signal, earning the Nobel Prize to Thorne, Barish and Weiss. This detection marked the beginning of a new era in astronomy: gravitational waves astronomy.

In our research group we study gravitational waves emission, and in particular the dynamical processes that lead to the coalescence of binary black holes, and more “exotic” GW sources, such as tidal disruption events.

We are particularly interested in the electromagnetic counterpart to GW emission and we coordinate this science theme in the research group AstroBlack Italy, inside the LISA collaboration.

People working on this topic: Giuseppe Lodato and Simone Ceppi.

Former members: Alessia Franchini, Enrico Ragusa, Martina Toscani.