The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna: Unveiling the Millihertz Gravitational Wave Sky

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Citation of Original Publication

Baker, John; Bellovary, Jillian; Bender, Peter L.; Berti, Emanuele; Caldwell, Robert; Camp, Jordan; Conklin, John W.; Cornish, Neil; Cutler, Curt; DeRosa, Ryan; Eracleous, Michael; Ferrara, Elizabeth C.; Francis, Samuel; Hewitson, Martin; Holley-Bockelmann, Kelly; Hornschemeier, Ann; Hogan, Craig; Kamai, Brittany; Kelly, Bernard J.; Key, Joey Shapiro; Larson, Shane L.; Livas, Jeff; Manthripragada, Sridhar; McKenzie, Kirk; McWilliams, Sean T.; Mueller, Guido; Natarajan, Priyamvada; Numata, Kenji; Rioux, Norman; Sankar, Shannon R.; Schnittman, Jeremy; Shoemaker, David; Shoemaker, Deirdre; Slutsky, Jacob; Spero, Robert; Stebbins, Robin; Thorpe, Ira; Vallisneri, Michele; Ware, Brent; Wass, Peter; Yu, Anthony; Ziemer, John; The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna: Unveiling the Millihertz Gravitational Wave Sky; Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (2019);


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The first terrestrial gravitational wave interferometers have dramatically underscored the scientific value of observing the Universe through an entirely different window, and of folding this new channel of information with traditional astronomical data for a multimessenger view. The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) will broaden the reach of gravitational wave astronomy by conducting the first survey of the millihertz gravitational wave sky, detecting tens of thousands of individual astrophysical sources ranging from white-dwarf binaries in our own galaxy to mergers of massive black holes at redshifts extending beyond the epoch of reionization. These observations will inform - and transform - our understanding of the end state of stellar evolution, massive black hole birth, and the co-evolution of galaxies and black holes through cosmic time. LISA also has the potential to detect gravitational wave emission from elusive astrophysical sources such as intermediate-mass black holes as well as exotic cosmological sources such as inflationary fields and cosmic string cusps.