Professor Mark Hannam
After I completed my PhD in 2003, I embarked on a research world tour,stopping at the University of Texas at Brownsville; theFriedrich-Schiller-University in Jena, Germany; University College Cork,Ireland; and the University of Vienna, Austria. In 2010 I came to Cardiffas an STFC Advanced Fellow, and became a professor in 2015. In 2015 I was also awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant to study precessing binary black holes.
Numerical Relativity and Gravitational-Wave Astronomy
Numerical Relativity involves solving Einstein's equations of generalrelativity on a computer, and one of the most exciting currentapplications is to model two black holes that orbit each other, inspiraltogether, and merge to form a single black hole. The reason this is so topical is that these simulations are the only way to predict thegravitational-wave signal from black-hole mergers, which provided the first direct gravitational-wave observations by LIGO in 2015 -- and indeed, many more detections since then. Our gravitational-wave signal models were used to decipher the properties of those first direct gravitational-wave detections. As the detectors become more sensitive, and we are able to extract more detailed information from gravitational-wave signals, we need to move beyond the simple approximate models that we have developed so far, and construct precision models that capture all of the physics of black-hole-binary systems.