A New Astronomy

Gravitational Wave Astronomy

Artist's impression of the laser interferometers on the LISA optical bench. Credit: AEI/MM/exozet

LISA - optical bench

Today we can SEE the beauty of the universe with modern telescopes in many wavelengths. Observing the universe with gravitational waves - a wave type which can be related to the acoustic waves - will allow us for the first time to HEAR it.

According to Einstein´s general relativity, accelerated masses produce gravitational waves – perturbations of spacetime propagating at the speed of light through the universe, unhindered by intervening mass. A direct observation of gravitational waves will add a new sense to our perception of the Universe.

Hence we will for the first time LISTEN to the Universe and

  • survey compact stellar-mass binaries
  • study the structure of our home galaxy, the Milky Way
  • trace the formation, growth, and merger history of massive black holes
  • explore stellar populations and dynamics in galactic nuclei
  • confront General Relativity with observations
  • probe new physics and cosmology with gravitational waves
  • and complement our picture of the Universe and its evolution


Prof. Bernard Schutz
Albert Einstein Institute Potsdam-Golm


Tel.: +49 (331) 567 - 7218

Fax: +49 (331) 567 - 7298

Prof. Monica Colpi

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca


Tel.: +39 02 6448 2357

Fax: +39 02 6448 2585

Attached videos

Einstein believed it would be impossible to measure gravitational waves directly, but we are now reaching the point where we do have technologies that can accurately measure such tiny effects.