IFAE is a member institution of the Virgo collaboration, devoted to the study of Gravitational Waves (GWs). IFAE has taken significant responsibilities related to the control of the stray light inside the experiment, which is considered a limiting factor for its sensitivity.
The group plans for keep playing an important role in the commissioning, operations, and upgrade of the interferometer. For the latter, IFAE is leading the construction of new baffles instrumented with photo sensors around the test masses.
In the physics analysis front, the IFAE research program includes topics related to: compact binary coalescence and their mass/spin spectrum determination; search for primordial black holes as candidates for dark matter; searches for axion-like signals in GWs; test of exotic models for Gravity beyond General Relativity; determination of the universe expansion rate using GWs; and using GW stochastic signals as probes for inflation and phase transitions in the early universe.
IFAE will be in a privileged position to analyse the LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA data and, in collaboration with IFAE’s teams in CTA/MAGIC and Observational Cosmology, to fully profit from a multi-messenger approach. In addition, the group is actively exploring contributions to the Einstein Telescope.