LISA Pathfinder, LISA and the path towards gravitational wave observation from space.
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III - Astrofisica
Aula 32B-3 - Martedì 18 h 09:00 - 13:00
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The LISA - Laser Interferometer Space Antenna - observatory will use an interferometric measurement of the gravitational tidal deformation of a constellation of free-falling test masses composing a 2.5 million km orbiting triangle, for the precise measurement of gravitational waves in the 20 microHz to 100 milliHz band. This will open an observational window on supermassive massive black holes, mHz galactic compact object binaries, and other low-frequency sources not observable from the ground. LISA Pathfinder, in orbit near the Earth-Sun L1 Lagrange point, has demonstrated, with a short -- 38 cm -- interferometer arm, that test masses can serve as references of pure geodesic motion with sub-femto-g precision, the key measurement science for guaranteeing the low-frequency LISA sensitivity. In this talk we present the LISA science case, the LISA Pathfinder measurement result, and the path to designing and realizing the LISA orbiting science instrument, which is currently under way with the ESA Phase A study of LISA.