The stochastic gravitational wave background: from models to observation

Project Details


The discovery of gravitational waves in 2015 opened a new era in
high energy and astroparticle physics. This project aims to contribute
to this expanding field by looking for a stochastic background of
gravitational waves (SBGW) with the LIGO-Virgo detector. A SBGW
could emerge as a superposition of signals from a number of
independent and unresolved sources (astrophysical origin) or it can
be the result of extreme events occurring during the evolution of our
Universe (cosmological origin). The first goal of this PhD project is
the development of new data analysis techniques and joining the
LIGO-Virgo collaboration in the search for a SBGW from
astrophysical origin. The data from past observation runs (O1,O2 and
O3) will be used to develop novel techniques and gain expertise
which will be applied to the data of the next observation run (O4),
planned to start in the second half of 2022. A complementary goal of
this PhD is to develop Beyond the Standard Model physics models
which could have generated a SBGW of cosmological origin, and
derive the corresponding signal shapes. Within the LIGO-Virgo phase
transition group, I will use these signals as templates to optimize the
searches for a SBGW of cosmological origin, providing a direct link
between the model-building and the data-analysis part of the PhD
Effective start/end date1/11/2131/10/23

Flemish discipline codes

  • General relativity and gravitation
  • Gravitational radiation astrophysics
  • Phenomenological particle physics
  • Theoretical particle physics


  • Gravitational waves
  • Stochastic gravitational wave background
  • Beyond the Standard Model Physics