Birmingham Astrophysics- Rolling Grant 2010-2015

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: School of Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

The work of the Birmingham Astrophysics & Space Research group aims to improve our understanding of the Universe, and the force of gravity which governs its structure and growth. Our extragalactic studies aim to discover the way in which galaxies, such as our own Milky Way galaxy, have developed from the small fluctuations present in the primordial gas which filled the Universe after the Big Bang, as well as probing the mysterious 'dark matter' which appears to account for over 90% of the matter in the Universe at large. Our knowledge of the cosmos to date is gleaned almost entirely from study of the electromagnetic radiation (from radio waves to gamma rays) which reaches the Earth from space. However, a whole new astronomical 'window' is about to open, based on the propagating ripples in space-time known as gravitational waves. Detection of these signals is hugely demanding, but large laser-interferometers are now very close to detecting them for the first time, and the Birmingham group is fully involved in these experiments, and in the plans to move these techniques into space within the next decade. This will ultimately allow us to study the gravitational signals from giant black holes, and from the Big Bang itself. We are working towards the first detection of gravitational waves, but also exploring the new techniques which will be required to turn the study of gravitational waves into a true branch of astronomy.

Publications

10 25 50
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Abbott BP (2016) Tests of General Relativity with GW150914. in Physical review letters

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Abbott BP (2018) First Search for Nontensorial Gravitational Waves from Known Pulsars. in Physical review letters

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Abbott BP (2018) GW170817: Measurements of Neutron Star Radii and Equation of State. in Physical review letters

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Carbone L (2013) The generation of higher-order Laguerre-Gauss optical beams for high-precision interferometry. in Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE

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LIGO Scientific Collaboration And The Virgo Collaboration (2017) A gravitational-wave standard siren measurement of the Hubble constant. in Nature

 
Description This award supports a wide range of work concerned with open questions in cluster cosmology, astrophysics and compact objects and experimental probes through gravitational-wave observations of the most compact objects in the universe (black holes and neutron stars) and novel experimental techniques to maximise the performance of laser interferometers as gravitational wave observatories.
This work has contributed to the direct detection of gravitational waves, the first observation of a binary black hole and the first observation of a binary neutron star merger.
Exploitation Route The results form the basis for further studies of the behaviour of gravity in extreme condition and the use of galaxy clusters as cosmological probes.
It also opens a new era in astronomy
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Other

URL https://losc.ligo.org/events
 
Description public engagement, increasing pupils and students interest in STEM subjects, and development of mobile apps for education
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Other
Impact Types Cultural

 
Description Astrophysics at the University of Birmingham
Amount £1,830,268 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/S000305/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2019 
End 03/2022
 
Description Gravitational Wave Excellence Through Alliance Training (GrEAT) Network with China
Amount £6,405 (GBP)
Funding ID n/a 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 12/2020
 
Description Newton STFC Capacity Building ith LIGO-India
Amount £7,951 (GBP)
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2017 
End 05/2020
 
Title finesse 
Description Frequency domain INterfErometer Simulation SoftwarE 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2007 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact it has allowed design and debug laser interferometers with a simple but powerful tool. It has allowed to simulate many different user-defined optical setups. It has been used for Advanced LIGO 
URL http://www.gwoptics.org/finesse/
 
Description EPTA 
Organisation Max Planck Society
Country Germany 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution analysis of pulsar timing data to search for gravitational waves
Collaborator Contribution provided radio data for gravitational wave searches
Impact there are papers in preparation
Start Year 2011
 
Description EPTA 
Organisation National Center for Scientific Research (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS)
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution analysis of pulsar timing data to search for gravitational waves
Collaborator Contribution provided radio data for gravitational wave searches
Impact there are papers in preparation
Start Year 2011
 
Description EPTA 
Organisation National Institute for Astrophysics
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution analysis of pulsar timing data to search for gravitational waves
Collaborator Contribution provided radio data for gravitational wave searches
Impact there are papers in preparation
Start Year 2011
 
Description EPTA 
Organisation University of Amsterdam
Country Netherlands 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution analysis of pulsar timing data to search for gravitational waves
Collaborator Contribution provided radio data for gravitational wave searches
Impact there are papers in preparation
Start Year 2011
 
Description EPTA 
Organisation University of Manchester
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution analysis of pulsar timing data to search for gravitational waves
Collaborator Contribution provided radio data for gravitational wave searches
Impact there are papers in preparation
Start Year 2011
 
Description GEO Collaboration 
Organisation Max Planck Society
Department Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics
Country Germany 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Data analysis and instrumental development
Collaborator Contribution Data analysis and instrumental development
Impact Many papers, technology developments, and outreach events
 
Description GEO Collaboration 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Department Physics and Astronomy Department
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Data analysis and instrumental development
Collaborator Contribution Data analysis and instrumental development
Impact Many papers, technology developments, and outreach events
 
Description Cavalcando le onde gravitazionali a caccia di buchi neri e chissa' cos'altro 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Many questions and requests for further discussion and participation to events
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.mantovascienza.it/2017/09/15/cavalcando-le-onde-gravitazionali-a-caccia-di-buchi-neri-e-c...
 
Description The birth of gravitational wave astronomy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact about 100 people attended the talk that was followed by many questions and conversations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.atomfestival.org.uk/our-team/atom-2017/