Black holes, gravitational waves and fundamental physics: a roadmap

Leor Barack, Vitor Cardoso, Samaya Nissanke, Thomas P. Sotiriou, Abbas Askar, Chris Belczynski, Gianfranco Bertone, Edi Bon, Diego Blas, Richard Brito, Tomasz Bulik, Clare Burrage, Christian T. Byrnes, Chiara Caprini, Masha Chernyakova, Piotr Chruściel, Monica Colpi, Valeria Ferrari, Daniele Gaggero, Jonathan GairJuan García-Bellido, S. F. Hassan, Lavinia Heisenberg, Martin Hendry, Ik Siong Heng, Carlos Herdeiro, Tanja Hinderer, Assaf Horesh, Bradley J. Kavanagh, Bence Kocsis, Michael Kramer, Alexandre Le Tiec, Chiara Mingarelli, Germano Nardini, Gijs Nelemans, Carlos Palenzuela, Paolo Pani, Albino Perego, Edward K. Porter, Elena M. Rossi, Patricia Schmidt, Alberto Sesana, Ulrich Sperhake, Antonio Stamerra, Leo C. Stein, Nicola Tamanini, Thomas M. Tauris, L. Arturo Urena-López, Frederic Vincent, Andrew Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

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The grand challenges of contemporary fundamental physics-dark matter, dark energy, vacuum energy, inflation and early universe cosmology, singularities and the hierarchy problem-all involve gravity as a key component. And of all gravitational phenomena, black holes stand out in their elegant simplicity, while harbouring some of the most remarkable predictions of General Relativity: event horizons, singularities and ergoregions. The hitherto invisible landscape of the gravitational Universe is being unveiled before our eyes: the historical direct detection of gravitational waves by the LIGO-Virgo collaboration marks the dawn of a new era of scientific exploration. Gravitational-wave astronomy will allow us to test models of black hole formation, growth and evolution, as well as models of gravitational-wave generation and propagation. It will provide evidence for event horizons and ergoregions, test the theory of General Relativity itself, and may reveal the existence of new fundamental fields. The synthesis of these results has the potential to radically reshape our understanding of the cosmos and of the laws of Nature. The purpose of this work is to present a concise, yet comprehensive overview of the state of the art in the relevant fields of research, summarize important open problems, and lay out a roadmap for future progress. This write-up is an initiative taken within the framework of the European Action on 'Black holes, Gravitational waves and Fundamental Physics'.

Original languageEnglish
Article number143001
Number of pages178
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2019


  • birth and evolution of black holes
  • black holes
  • fundamental physics
  • gravitational waves
  • gravitational-wave astronomy
  • source modelling
  • RCUK
  • STFC
  • ST/R00045X/1
  • ST/P000703/1


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