Research
Gravity is one the most familiar forces in our everday lives.
Yet of the fundamental forces in nature, gravity is the least understood,
and the least tested.
My research is focused on understanding gravity under the most extreme
conditions, called the strongfield regime.
These conditions hold in the vicinity of compact objects such as neutron
stars and black holes.
In these regions of spacetime, the effects of Einstein's theory of general
relativity become pronounced and unavoidable.
The strongfield regime is therefore ideal for testing general relativity
and improving our understanding of gravity.
In particular, my research is aimed at improving theoretical modeling of
gravitational waves produced during the coalescence of two compact objects.
Models often involve a hybrid of analytical approximations (black hole perturbation
theory, postNewtonian expansions, postMinkowskian expansions) and
numerical approximations (numerical relativity), which are then married together
in an appropriate way. Accurate modeling is crucial for detecting gravitational waves,
extracting useful information from them, and testing the predictions of general relativity.
After almost 50 years of effort by untold numbers of physicists and engineers,
gravitational waves were
finally detected
by
LIGO
in 2015
(announced in early 2016).
With these first detections, the era of gravitational wave astrophysics has officially
commenced. And with it, there is an increased demand for fast, efficient, accurate,
and realistic gravitational waveform templates.
