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Photograph of Ross Church

Ross Church

Senior lecturer

Photograph of Ross Church

Astrophysics with the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna


  • Pau Amaro-Seoane
  • Abbas Askar
  • Ross Church
  • Melvyn B. Davies
  • Alejandro Vigna-Gómez

Summary, in English

The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) will be a transformative
experiment for gravitational wave astronomy, and, as such, it will offer
unique opportunities to address many key astrophysical questions in a
completely novel way. The synergy with ground-based and space-born
instruments in the electromagnetic domain, by enabling multi-messenger
observations, will add further to the discovery potential of LISA. The
next decade is crucial to prepare the astrophysical community for LISA’s
first observations. This review outlines the extensive landscape of
astrophysical theory, numerical simulations, and astronomical
observations that are instrumental for modeling and interpreting the
upcoming LISA datastream. To this aim, the current knowledge in three
main source classes for LISA is reviewed; ultra-compact stellar-mass
binaries, massive black hole binaries, and extreme or interme-diate mass
ratio inspirals. The relevant astrophysical processes and the
established modeling techniques are summarized. Likewise, open issues
and gaps in our understanding of these sources are highlighted, along
with an indication of how LISA could help making progress in the
different areas. New research avenues that LISA itself, or its joint
exploitation with upcoming studies in the electromagnetic domain, will
enable, are also illustrated. Improvements in modeling and analysis
approaches, such as the combination of numerical simulations and modern
data science techniques, are discussed. This review is intended to be a
starting point for using LISA as a new discovery tool for understanding
our Universe.


  • Astrophysics
  • eSSENCE: The e-Science Collaboration
  • Mathematics (Faculty of Sciences)

Publishing year





Living Reviews in Relativity



Document type

Journal article review




  • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology


  • black holes
  • gravitational waves
  • stellar remnants
  • multi-messenger
  • extreme mass ratio in-spirals




  • ISSN: 1433-8351