DESY Theory Seminar

Gravitational waves from the sound of a first-order phase transition

by David Weir (U Helsinki)

Monday, February 19, 2018 from to (Europe/Berlin)
at DESY Hamburg ( seminar room 2, building 2A )
The space-based gravitational wave detector LISA may be able to detect gravitational waves from a first order phase transition at the electroweak scale. Acoustic waves produced during the transition are largely responsible for the resulting signal. I will present results from a large campaign of simulations studying such phase transitions, determining the spectral shape of the gravitational wave power spectrum with unparalleled accuracy. Measuring a cosmological stochastic background could place constraints on the phase transition parameters, such as the nucleation rate and temperature, and therefore provide important information about physics beyond the Standard Model. However, better understanding of the source, as well as the underlying theories of physics beyond the Standard Model, is required before the launch of LISA. I will outline how this understanding can be developed.