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eLISA science in the era of first detections

KMI Theory Seminar
2017-01-10 15:30
Enrico Barausse

I will provide a review of the latest (~1 yr) progress toward a space-based gravitational-wave detector. The eLISA space-based interferometer is the main candidate for ESA’s Cosmic Vision theme “The Gravitational Universe”, for which the L3 launch slot in 2034 has been reserved. ESA’s final decision on the mission will happen in 2017 so as to allow sufficient time for industrial production. It is therefore urgent to assess the science return of the eLISA mission vs cost-saving measures. In more detail, I will consider different eLISA mission designs, including four-link (two-arm) and six-link (three-arm) configurations with different lengths, low-frequency noise sensitivities and mission duration, and explore their science capabilities, focusing on massive black-hole binaries, extreme mass-ratio inspirals, tests of General Relativity and cosmology, as well as possible synergies with ground based detectors.