Jann Zosso joins Strong

More than a hundred years after Einstein's prediction of their existence, the gravitational wave revolution in physics has now begun. While almost a hundred events of binary coalescence's have already been observed and analysed, the community already prepares for the promise of next generation gravitational wave detectors to probe the limits of our understanding of the gravitational interaction even deeper and eventually go beyond our horizon of current knowledge. This promise includes an upcoming direct measurement of the scars in the fabric of spacetime left behind by gravitational waves as a direct consequence of the immanent non-linearity of gravitation. These permanent distortions of proper distances are known as gravitational wave memory and represent a unique opportunity to test the theory of gravity in its defining properties.

Jann Zosso was just awarded a Swiss National Fellowship to join Strong and advance the field. In this project, Jann proposes to pave the way for future gravitational wave memory observations to expand on our fundamental understanding of the gravitational interaction. Concretely, he will 1.) Advance the theoretical understanding of the memory effect in generic metric theories of gravity. 2.) Construct the first parameterized memory models beyond general relativity, ready to use for future tests of strong gravity. 3.) Pioneer a model independent extraction of the memory signal that opens the door to a novel search for additional gravitational degrees of freedom.

This undertaking will build on recent work by Jann Zosso and his supervisors that initiated a new approach of computing gravitational wave memory in generic metric theories of gravity. These first stepping stones towards the aim of the proposed research will decisively be complemented by the expertise of Prof. Vitor Cardoso, the designated host, and his group, in extracting information on fundamental physics from both current and future gravitational wave data. A combination of analytical and numerical computations, together with previous experience with waveform modelling, effects beyond general relativity and next generation gravitational wave observations of both the fellow and the host, will lead to the success of this ambitious endeavour.

The field of research on gravitational wave memory is currently on the rise, and it is timely to push its inquiry to the next level by preparing to exploit the valuable future data streams. This project will provide a significant boost to this unexplored handle to probe our understanding of gravity, and will spark the interest in this fascinating topic among the gravitational wave community and beyond.

Jann will join Elisa Maggio, a Marie Curie Fellow, and the rest of the Strong Group pushing forward our understanding of the gravitational universe.

Jan. 7, 2024, 10:15 p.m.