My Leverhulme Trust Research Grant proposal titled “Black-hole spins and accretion discs with gravitational waves from space” has been selected for funding (PI Davide Gerosa, University of Birmingham). The total awarded amount is GBP 191,417 over 3 years.
I was recently interviewed for Scientific American about my recent paper on multiple-generation black holes in stellar clusters. Here is the article: “Black Hole Factories May Hide at Cores of Giant Galaxies”. Very happy to be quoted saying “I don’t think we’ve been hitting this problem hard enough”. I think it’s a nice summary of scientific research –so much to discover!
I was selected by the European Space Agency to join the Voyage 2050 Topical Teams. Voyage 2050 is ESA’s long-term programmatic plan to select scientific missions to be launched between 2035 and 2050. I am part of the review panel tasked to evaluate mission proposals focussed on “The Extreme Universe, including gravitational waves, black holes, and compact object“.
This week I am organizing the GrEAT PhD winter school. GrEAT (which stands for Gravitational-wave Excellence through Alliance Training) is a synergy network between the UK and China. Our program features informal talks in the mornings and hands-on sessions in the afternoons, covering both theoretical and experimental gravitational-wave physics.
After the school in Birmingham, students will move on to various UK nodes to complete longer projects. In particular, Mingyue Zhou will stay here working with me.
Two close collaborators will be visiting my group this winter.
Vijay Varma, postdoc at Caltech and expert of numerical relativity surrogate models, will be here on October 7-11. Get ready for his talk “Binary black hole simulations: from supercomputers to your laptop” (aka: Everything you ever wanted to know about waveform surrogates).
Giovanni Rosotti, Veni fellow in Leiden, will be here on November 4-15. He will also give a talk: “The observational era of planet formation“. What do planets have to do with black holes? Turns out some stages of their evolution are set by the same equations. We have a lot to learn from each other! Giovanni’s visit is supported by the GWverse COST Action (thanks EU!).
Today’s paper is about superkicks. These are extreme configurations of black hole binaries which receive a large recoil. Black hole recoils work much like those of, say, a cannon. As the cannonball flies, the cannon recoils backwards. Here the binary is shooting gravitational waves: as they are emitted, the system recoils in the opposite direction. In this paper we show that superkicks might be up to 25% larger if the binary is mildly eccentric. This means it’s a bit easier to kick black holes out of stellar clusters and galaxies.
Ulrich Sperhake, Roxana Rosca-Mead, Davide Gerosa, Emanuele Berti.
I am very excited to welcome Matthew Mould in my research group. Matt is starting his Ph.D. with me in Birmingham. We already have too many ideas…