Nils Andersson
University of Southampton

Charles Horowitz
Indiana University

Maria Alessandra Papa
Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics

Program Coordinator:

Farha Habib
(206) 685-4286

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For full consideration, please apply by November 30, 2017.

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INT Workshop INT-18-71W

Astro-Solids, Dense Matter, and Gravitational Waves

April 16 - 20, 2018

As we enter the era of gravitational-wave astronomy, there is renewed focus on the range of astrophysical sources and the information that can be extracted from observations. As the expected signals are weak a detailed understanding of source characteristics is required for detection and interpretation.

In this context, a workshop focused on issues relating to continuous gravitational waves from spinning neutron stars is timely. There are already over 30 LIGO papers presenting searches for, and upper limits on, continuous gravitational-wave signals. However, there has been comparatively little related theoretical work. The basic mechanisms for neutron stars emitting long-lived gravitational wave signals may be well known, but they have not yet been modeled at the level of precision required to support the sensitive searches that are being carried out (e.g. using Einstein@home).

The one week workshop will motivate new theoretical work on continuous gravitational-wave sources and improve the communication between nuclear physicists, gravitational-wave experts, and astrophysicists working on dense matter and compact objects.

Key issues for the workshop involve:

  1. the modeling of solid material phases at extreme densities. The gravitational radiation from a spinning compact object is very sensitive to its shape, and solids keep their shape. Therefore, gravitational waves provide a unique probe of astrophysical solids including neutron star crust, nuclear pasta, and possible high-density solid phases of QCD.

  2. Constraints on the gravitational-wave emission from electromagnetic observations, e.g. of accreting stars, and a discussion of the most promising astrophysical scenarios for targeted gravitational-wave searches.

  3. The design of theory-led search strategies, including constraints from electromagnetic observations.

Specific topics to be considered:
  • Introduction to gravitational waves for nuclear physicists.
  • Introduction to nuclear physics and dense matter for gravitational-wave physicists.
  • Continuous gravitational-wave searches.
  • Crust mountains and mountain building.
  • R-modes.
  • Neutron star crust and crust properties.
  • Magnetic and compositional mountains.
  • Superfluid dynamics and neutron star oscillations.
  • Crust strength and crust breaking.
  • Magnetar giant flares, and GW bursts.
  • Dense QCD and solid phases at high density.
The workshop will have time each afternoon for organized discussions.

There will be a $30 registration fee to attend the workshop. The registration fee includes participation in the workshop, lectures, and coffee breaks.