Lisa: A modern astrophysical observatory

Shane L. Larson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) is a spaceborne gravitational wave observatory which will be sensitive to low-frequency gravitational waves in the frequency range from about 100 microHertz up to about 1 Hz. The mission is being jointly pursued by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), and at the time of this writing1 is slated for a launch in 2014. Comprised of a constellation of three free-flying spacecraft, LISA will be sensitive to supermassive black hole binaries, close interacting binaries in the galaxy, the capture of stellar mass objects by supermassive black holes in galactic nuclei, and possibly to stochastic backgrounds of gravitational radiation of cosmological origin. This review summarizes in brief the current description of the LISA observatory, how it will function as an interferometer, the sensitivity it will have to sources of gravitational radiation, and a simple taxonomy of prospective astrophysical sources. It also provides simple pocket formulae which are often useful for making computations about sources in the LISA band.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication33rd SLAC Summer Institute on Particle Physics
Subtitle of host publicationGravity in the Quantum World and the Cosmos, SSI 2005
PublisherSLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005
Event33rd SLAC Summer Institute on Particle Physics: Gravity in the Quantum World and the Cosmos, SSI 2005 - Menlo Park, CA, United States
Duration: Jul 25 2005Aug 5 2005

Other

Other33rd SLAC Summer Institute on Particle Physics: Gravity in the Quantum World and the Cosmos, SSI 2005
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMenlo Park, CA
Period7/25/058/5/05

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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