Gravitational waves in space: Science with LISA


  • Sam Dolan School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sheffield


The birth of gravitational wave astronomy in 2015 has brought fresh insights into black holes, neutron stars and cosmology. The next challenge is to put a gravitational wave detector into space. There, free from the seismic noise of the Earth, the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) will detect the rumblings of supermassive black holes in the millihertz band.
In this talk I will review the science goals of LISA. In particular, I will focus on Extreme Mass-Ratio Inspirals (EMRIs), in which a compact object spirals into a supermassive black hole. The challenge on the theory side is to accurately model a highly-eccentric inspiral over 10,000 orbital cycles with an overall phase error of less than one radian. I will introduce the Gravitational Self-Force methodology, and recent advances in modelling such systems. Finally, I will outline my recent work on black hole perturbation theory, and its place in the jigsaw.

About the Speaker

Sam Dolan, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sheffield

Sam Dolan is a Senior Lecturer of Applied Mathematics at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. After completing his Ph.D at the University of Cambridge, he took up postdoctoral fellowships at University College Dublin, and at the University of Southampton, before joining the University of Sheffield in 2011. His research is centred around the physics of black holes. He is known for work on superradiant instabilities of spinning (Kerr) black holes; on the scattering of gravitational waves by black holes; and on gravitational self-force calculations for extreme mass-ratio inspirals. Recently, he has been working on formulating black hole perturbation theory in Lorenz gauge using Hertz potentials. He also works on the development of analogue-gravity experiments, with the aim of observing fundamental physics in laboratory systems using simulator systems.



Article ID



Invited Presentations



How to Cite

S Dolan, Gravitational waves in space: Science with LISA, Proceedings of the Samahang Pisika ng Pilipinas 40, SPP-2022-INV-3A-04 (2022). URL: