Black hole binary dynamics and waveforms from gravitational scattering – May 31st, 2 pm

31 maggio, ore 14

IAC-Cnr, via dei Taurini 19, Roma, Aula piano terra


Thibault Damour IHES, Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques

Thibault Damour was a permanent professor in theoretical physics at the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHÉS) from 1989 to 2022. Since then, he is professor emeritus. An expert in general relativity, he has long taught this theory at the École Normale Supérieure (Ulm). He contributed greatly to the understanding of gravitational waves from compact binary systems, and with Alessandra Buonanno, he invented the “effective one-body” approach to solving the orbital trajectories of binary black holes. He is also a specialist in string theory. In 2021 he was awarded the Balzan Prize for Gravitation: physical and astrophysical aspects (shared with Alessandra Buonanno) as well as the Galileo Galilei Medal and the Dirac Medal.

IAC Youtube Channel


Gravitational wave signals from coalescing binary black holes are detected, and analyzed, by using large banks of template waveforms. The construction of these templates makes an essential use of the analytical knowledge of the motion and radiation of  gravitationally interacting binary systems.  A new angle of attack  on gravitational dynamics consists of considering (classical or quantum)  scattering states. Modern amplitude techniques have recently given interesting novel results. These results are reaching a level where subtle conceptual issues arise (quantum-classical transition, radiative effects versus conservative dynamics, massless limit,…).