Research Environment Funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR)
The direct detection of gravitational waves (GWs) by the LIGO-Virgo collaboration has opened a completely new chapter in the study of gravity and the physics of the most compact objects in nature, black holes and neutron stars. The implications are tantalising, and the scientific reach has just been dramatically expanded as we have just started to pinpoint the locations of the sources of GWs using electromagnetic (EM) tracers. The first association of a GW source, GW170817, with a transient at optical and IR wavelengths - a macronova - has already had transformational impact for the study of compact objects, their role in the creation of heavy elements and their use as the most accurate distance indicators in cosmology.
The VR funded GREAT network is well placed to fully explore the GW-EM connection. The research environment includes leading experts on the physics of compact object mergers, simulations of and access to the main astronomical surveys capable of detecting the EM counterparts in coincidence with future GW detections.