Two ERC funded postdoctoral positions in gravitational wave astrophysics, Milan, Italy

Universita’ di Milano Bicocca is currently seeking to fill at least two postdoctoral research positions with highly qualified individuals interested in pursuing research in the fields gravitational wave astrophysics, with a particular focus on massive black hole binaries.

The successful candidates will join Prof. Alberto Sesana in forming the core team of ‘B Massive’, an ERC CoG funded project aimed at tackling all the facets of the astrophysics of massive black hole binaries.
We are particularly looking for candidates with strong background either in numerical (N-body and/or hydro) simulations of massive black holes binaries and their galaxy hosts or in pulsar timing observations, data analysis and inference. But candidates with relevant expertise in all aspects of massive black hole binary theory and observations, gravitational wave data analysis at large and numerical simulations are warmly welcomed to apply.

Appointments are expected to start as soon as possible but certainly no later than fall 2020. The ERC funding guarantees a generous salary, competitive with the highest European standards for this type of positions.

The Bicocca astro group has a strong expertise in massive black hole astrophysics, dynamics and gravitational waves (Prof. Monica Colpi, Prof. Massimo Dotti, Prof. Alberto Sesana and visiting Prof. Francesco Haardt), relativistic numerical simulations of compact objects (Prof. Bruno Giacomazzo), observations of high redshift galaxies and black holes (Prof. Michele Fumagalli, to join the group in 2020). It is a lively group supporting a number of postdocs and PhD students. It also have tight connections with the observatories of Brera and Merate. It is located close to the centre of Milan, the most lively and international city in Italy, 1h away from the beautiful Como Lake and the stunning Alps.

Candidates must have a PhD degree in physics, astronomy or a related discipline.
Applications should consist of:
-a cover letter,
-a brief statement of research interests,
-a curriculum vitae including publication list,
-at least three letters of recommendation.

All material should be sent electronically as soon as possible to the attention of Prof. Alberto Sesana to the email address alberto.sesana[AT]unimib.it, by October 22, 2019.

Towards gravitational wave astronomy: data analysis techniques and challenges, London

The next few years promise to be exciting ones for the field of gravitational wave astronomy: ground-based gravitational wave detectors will begin taking data at unprecedented sensitivities; pulsar timing arrays are continuing to improve their timing accuracy; and several experiments are studying the cosmic microwave background polarisation in great detail. Together, these methods are probing a huge range of the gravitational wave spectrum, and detections will offer a wealth of new information on compact binaries, supermassive black holes, and general relativity in extreme environments from the early universe to black hole mergers.
Exploiting the datasets provided by these cutting edge observations has spurred the development of novel data analysis methods to understand gravitational wave sources.

This Royal Astronomical Society discussion meeting will bring together researchers from these diverse areas to encourage the sharing of techniques and foster further collaboration within the data analysis community.

NRDA09/MICRA09 Double special issue published in Classical and Quantum Gravity

I am delighted to announce the publication of the following double special issue in Classical and Quantum Gravity:

Invited papers from Numerical Relativity and Data Analysis (NRDA) 2009,
Albert Einstein Institute, Potsdam, 6 – 9 July, 2009
Guest Editors: S Husa and B Krishnan

Invited papers from Microphysics In Computational Relativistic Astrophysics (MICRA) 2009,
Niels Bohr International Academy, Copenhagen, 24 – 28 August 2009
Guest Editors: C D Ott, C Pethick and L Rezzolla

The NRDA meeting was aimed at fostering closer interactions between simulations of gravitational wave sources and the ongoing searches for gravitational wave signals.

The MICRA meeting brought together researchers in numerical modeling and physics of matter at high densities, where general relativity plays a central role.

I take this opportunity to thank all of the authors, referees and guest editors who gave their time and expertise to create this excellent issue.

The special issue will be free for 6 months from date of publication. I invite you to read the articles on the new IOPscience service!

Yours sincerely,

Adam Day
Publisher
Classical and Quantum Gravity
iopscience.org/cqg

Mock LISA Data Challenge round 4 released

Dear Colleagues:

The Mock LISA Data Challenges (MLDCs) are a program to demonstrate LISA data-analysis capabilities and to encourage their development. Each round of challenges consists of one or more datasets containing simulated instrument noise and gravitational waves from sources of undisclosed parameters. Participants analyze the datasets and report best-fit solutions for the source parameters. Almost four years after the program began, we are proud to announce the release of the fourth challenge, MLDC 4. To obtain the datasets, go to http://astrogravs.nasa.gov/docs/mldc and follow the “Round 4” link. The authoritative description of MLDC 4 will appear in the Amaldi-8 proceedings; in the meantime please refer to http://lisatools.googlecode.com/svn/Docs/2009-amaldi-challenge3/mldc3proceedings.pdf .

Challenge content — While the third round of the MLDCs was focused on increasing the complexity and variety of GW sources, we are devoting the next iteration to the global-fit problem of detecting and analyzing sources of different types superposed in the LISA data. Thus, MDLC 4 consists of a single, “whole enchilada” challenge that includes all the sources of MLDCs 3.1-3.5 in the same dataset, albeit with larger source numbers (for EMRIs and cosmic-string bursts) and parameter ranges (for MBH binaries and EMRIs). You can find a graphic representation of a typical dataset at http://www.tapir.caltech.edu/dokuwiki/_media/listwg1b:mldc4.pdf ;

this particular realization includes 60+ million chirping Galactic binaries, 4 MBH binaries, 9 EMRIs, 15 cosmic-string bursts, an isotropic stochastic background, and of course instrument noise (the graphic reflects a previous test run that is not available for download).

Participating — The deadline for Round 4 entries will be December 3, 2010, at midnight, U.S. Pacific time, with preliminary results to be presented at the 15th GWDAW meeting. (However: the GWDAW-15 date and place will be decided in Jan 2010; if GWDAW-15 is in early December 2010, we will bring forward the MLDC 4 deadline accordingly to have enough time to evaluate entries.) The global-fit character of this challenge encourages collaborative endeavors between group that have developed searches for different sources. We invite you to use the lisatools-challenge@gravity.psu.edu list as a forum to set up such collaborations (subscribe at http://www.gravity.psu.edu/mailman/listinfo/lisatools-challenge); please let us know how we may help you on this.

More information — To obtain more details and to participate in the MLDCs, see the official MLDC website, http://astrogravs.nasa.gov/docs/mldc , the Task Force wiki, http://www.tapir.caltech.edu/listwg1b/ , and the lisatools software repository, http://lisatools.googlecode.com .

Best regards,

the MLDC task force