Fundamental physics with LISA, Florence, Italy

Observations of astrophysical systems where gravity is extreme — highly-dynamical and/or non-linearly strong — have the potential to shed light on some of the most profound questions in physics today: from the nature of compact objects to whether Einstein’s theory accurately describes the merger of black holes. The first space-borne detector, LISA, a joint ESA-NASA mission is currently planned to be deployed in 2034, allowing for the first observation of the merger of supermassive black holes and of extreme mass-ratio inspirals. These observations will enable new accurate tests of general relativity, in particular in the strong regime.

We announce the Fundamental Physics with LISA workshop which will take place on November 12-14, 2018 at the Galileo Galilei Institute (Arcetri, Florence, IT). Its goal will be to discuss ways in which we can test General Relativity and learn about fundamental theoretical physics with future LISA observations.

For more information and registration, please visit the conference webpage:

In order to encourage interaction and discussion, the workshop will bring together experts in theory, phenomenology, modeling and data analysis, and will have an unusual format. Each day will be centered around one of these facets, and consist of three topical sessions in which discussions will be moderated by a panel of three or four experts. The goal of the workshop is to foster fruitful interactions between different dimensions of LISA science. This will include the following topics:

* Model independent tests versus Model-Specific tests of GR.
* Tests of GR and inferences about physics from the inspiral of supermassive black holes.
* Tests of GR and inferences about physics from the ringdown of supermassive black hole merger.
* Tests of GR and inferences about physics from extreme mass-ratio inspirals.
* Inferences about the nature of supermassive black holes.
* Tests of superradiance and inferences about ultralight boson fields and fuzzy dark matter.
* Exotic compact objects, tests of the horizon, and GW echoes.
* Environmental effects

The number of participants is limited. The registration deadline is *Sepember 1st* or earlier if the capacity of the conference venue is reached. The conference fee (€60) includes lunch tickets for on-site catering.


1A: Black holes
1B: Cosmology
1C: Gravity

2A: Inferences on exotic objects
2B: Inferences on particle physics
2C: Inferences on theoretical physics

3A: Massive black-hole binaries: modeling and systematics
3B: Extreme mass-ratio inspirals: modeling and environmental systematics
3C: Data-analysis tools and strategies

A. Arvanitaki
S. Babak
E. Berti
D. Blas
R. Brito
A. Buonanno *
C. Burrage
C. Caprini
V. Cardoso
K. Chatziioannou
N. Cornish
J. de Boer
P. Ferreira
J. Gair *
S. Giddings
T. Hinderer
S. Hughes
L. Hui
A. Klein
B. Kocsis
C. Palenzuela
A. Raccannelli
T. Sotiriou
L. Stein *
A. Tolley
M. Trodden
M. Van den Meent
M. Vallisneri
A. Vecchio
F. Vernizzi
F. Vidotto
H. Witek
K. Yagi
A. Zimmerman

(* to be confirmed)


Enrico Barausse (Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris),
Thomas Hertog (KU Leuven),
Philippe Jetzer (University of Zurich),
Paolo Pani (Sapienza University of Rome),
Nicolas Yunes (Montana State University)

– European Research Council Starting Grant DarkGRA-757480 (“Unveiling the dark universe with gravitational waves”).
– COST Action CA16104 “Gravitational waves, black holes and fundamental physics” (GWverse)

Workshop poster (courtesy of Michele Monasta,


11th Interantional LISA Symposium, Zurich, Switzerland

The eleventh International LISA Symposium jointly organized by ETH Zurich and University of Zurich will take place at the Irchel Campus of University of Zurich, Switzerland September 5 – 9, 2016.

Main topics after the recent development in the field of Gravitational Waves will be:

First results from LISA Pathfinder
Further development of LISA
Overview of ground based Gravitational Wave detectors
Precision tests of General Relativity
Joint eLISA and L3ST consortium meeting

LISA Symposium X

The LISA Symposium is an open conference which is dedicated to the science and technology of space-based gravitational wave detectors targeting the 10uHz to 1Hz frequency range.
The 10th International LISA Symposium will be held at the Hilton Conference Center in Gainesville from May 18-23, 2014. The registration website will open December 2013.

eLISA(NGO) – Revealing a hidden Universe: opening a new chapter of discovery

GWNotes paper, Yellow Book, website online

The main references to eLISA(NGO) are available. It is the new ESA space-based gravitational wave detector, candidate for L1 mission in Cosmic Vision framework.

Mission name: ‎”eLISA(NGO)  – Revealing a hidden Universe: opening a new chapter of discovery”

– paper (science case):
– website:
– Yellow Book (ESA document):

9th LISA Symposium in Paris

The 9th LISA Symposium (2012) will take place at BnF – Paris (National Library of France close to APC Laboratory) on 21 – 25 May 2012.

Main topics: LISA, eLISA-NGO, future of space based gravitational wave astronomy, gravitational waves, astrophysics, cosmology

The earlier registration deadline is the 20 April 2012.

A Statement from the European LISA Study Team

Due to the recent adjustment in how L-class missions within the Cosmic Vision framework are chosen, ESA is currently investigating a design for a European-led variant of LISA that can be launched before 2022.

After studying several configurations, a new baseline has been identified that will be refined in the coming month with the help of European industry. The new baseline simplifies the design of LISA, reducing the distance between the satellites and employing only four instead of previously six laser links.

The science team and a science task force, composed of members of the gravitational wave and astrophysics communities in both Europe and the US, have assessed the scientific validity of the new baseline for the fields of physics, astrophysics and cosmology and have shown that the new configuration is very promising regarding sources such as galactic binaries, (super)massive black hole and extreme mass ratio inspirals.

Over the next few months, this work will continue until we have a finalised mission proposal by the fall of 2011. The near future is very bright for astrophysics and cosmology using observations of gravitational waves in space.

(Posted on behalf of the team by Bernard Schutz, 21.07.2011)

Astrophysics and gravitational waves meeting in Mallorca

We are glad to announce the 6th (!) Astro-GR meeting. This time we will meeting from Monday 5th to Friday September 9th 2011 in Palma de Mallorca to discuss about astrophysics and gravitational waves, focusing on the science the new European envisioned and other future missions can do, such as:

* Astrophysical modelling of super- and massive black hole coalescences
* Astrophysical modelling of small compact objects by massive black holes (aka “EMRIs”)
* Observations of our own Galactic Center (SgrA*)
* Observations of binary neutron stars leading up to coalescence for long periods of time
* Precision astronomy of massive stellar bodies and measurements of spin-down of individual pulsars
* Modelling of strong field sources within General Relativity
* Data analysis of the sources
* Early warning of possible mergers either from the data analysis or by EM detection
* Coincidence measurements with ground-based GW detectors

This meeting will be run in the style of all previous Astro-GR meetings, with presentations in the morning and discussion/working groups in the afternoon. This format has worked very well in the past, so we have decided to use it again for this meeting. The format and venue for Astro-GR@Mallorca will limit the number of attendees. We thus kindly ask every participant to register as soon as s/he makes travel arrangements and to avoid disappointment. In keeping with the spirit of an informal workshop, there will be no registration fee. The number of slots will be very limited, and they will be chosen by the organizers on the basis of their relevance to the main focus and goal of this meeting. Please take a look to this link to get an impression of the general philosophy of the meetings:

A key aim of the Astro-GR meetings is to foster and develop new collaborative ventures, as well as to strengthen existing ones, within the different communities (astrophysics, data analysis, general relativity and numerical relativity). Looking forward to getting your registrations!

Pau Amaro-Seoane, Alicia Sintes and Sascha Husa

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 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 .

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 ;

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 list as a forum to set up such collaborations (subscribe at; 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, , the Task Force wiki, , and the lisatools software repository, .

Best regards,

the MLDC task force

LISA 8 Symposium

The LISA 8 (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) International Symposium has been scheduled for June 28 – July 2, 2010 at Stanford University in California USA.

The website is:

Regular registration $500.00
Student registration $150.00

Registration and abstract request are open (03/03/10).

On behalf of the local organizing committee

Sasha Buchman