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E.S. Phinney (Caltech)
Gravitational waves offer a window on the universe which complements the windows provided by electromagnetic radiation and neutrinos. The ESA/NASA Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), planned for launch around 2010, will detect and measure gravitational radiation from astronomical sources at frequencies 0.0001 Hz to 0.1 Hz (compared to 30-1000 Hz for ground-based detectors such as LIGO).
LISA will detect continuous signals from: thousands of interesting binary stars in the Milky Way, merging of supermassive black holes in the nuclei of merging galaxies at redshifts from 0 to 50, and gravitational radiation from compact stars scattered into supermassive black holes. We describe how these will enable new tests of the physics of interacting binary stars, cosmography and structure formation, black hole properties, and tests of strong-field relativity of unprecedented precision.
Supported in part by NASA grant NAG5-10707 and the LISA mission office.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society,
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.