Professor Mark Hannam

School of Physics and Astronomy

+44 (0)29 2087 0167
N/1.14, Queen's Buildings - North Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA
I studied at Waikato and Canterbury Universities in New Zealand, and atthe University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in the USA. During my PhDI numerically solved the equations necessary to provide the initialconditions for simulations of collisions of black holes.

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.

Research interests

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.