Academy of Finland
Funding decision
Applicant / Contact person Weir, David
Organisation University of Helsinki
Project title LISA and the electroweak phase transition
Decision No. 324882
Decision date 07.05.2019
Funding period 01.09.2019 - 31.08.2024
Funding 438 874
WebFOCUS Report
Project description
The two greatest discoveries of physics so far this century were quite possibly finding the Higgs boson, and directly observing gravitational waves for the first time. The attention of particle physicists is now turning to what lies beyond the Higgs, while cosmologists and astrophysicists wonder what other sources of gravitational waves are out there. My project connects these two questions by investigating cosmological sources of gravitational waves, which have longer wavelengths than we can detect on Earth. In 2034 a space-based gravitational wave detector called LISA will be launched, which might be able to see gravitational waves produced around the time the Higgs boson itself 'turned on' depending on exactly how that happened. I will use computer simulations both to predict which models of physics allow the 'turning on' of the Higgs boson to produce gravitational waves that LISA can see, and also to understand the characteristics of the resulting gravitational waves.