Global meeting of the GWVerse COST action
The long-held promise of gravitational-wave astronomy as a new window onto the universe has finally materialized. We have taken but the first steps along a new, exciting avenue that has now opened before us. The harvesting of useful information from gravitational-wave signals and the understanding of its broader implications demand a cross-disciplinary effort. How, when and in which environment were black holes formed? How fast do they spin and how have some of them grown to become supermassive? Can black hole mergers inform us on the nature and distribution of dark matter? Are there new fundamental degrees of freedom? Gravitational waves will allow for precise tests of General Relativity, and of the black hole paradigm itself. However, to be able to collect and interpret the information encoded in the GWs, one has to be equipped with faithful and accurate theoretical models of the predicted waveforms. To accomplish the far-reaching goals of gravitational-wave science it is of paramount importance to bring together expertise over a very broad range of topics, from astrophysics and cosmology, through general-relativistic source modelling to particle physics and other areas of fundamental science.
In 2016, a short time before the announcement of the first gravitational-wave detection, a cross-disciplinary initiative in Europe led to the establishment of the new CA16104 COST networking Action on "Black holes, gravitational waves and fundamental physics'' ("GWverse''). GWverse aims to maintain and consolidate leadership in black-hole physics and gravitational-wave science. The Action supports the training of the next generation of leaders in the field, and the very first "native'' GW/multi-messenger astronomers, ready to tackle the challenges of high-precision GW astronomy with ground and space-based detectors.
The fourth and final global meeting of the Action will be a hybrid meeting. The meeting will be remote (via Zoom), with its core programme taking place in the afternoons, from 30 Aug - 03 September 2021. However, for those willing and able to be in Lisbon in person, there will be additional sessions in the morning in the wonderful academy of Sciences of Lisbon. A meeting of the board of the action is scheduled for the morning of Aug 30. There are no conference fees, and COST can provide financial support (as a daily allowance) to some participants, upon request and on a first-come first-served basis.
Scientific Organising Committee: Leor Barack (Southampton), Vitor Cardoso, (CENTRA, Chair), Valeria Ferrari (Rome Sapienza), Samaya Nissanke (GRAPPA), Thomas Sotiriou (Nottingham), José Lemos (CENTRA).
Local Organising Committee: Richard Brito, Vitor Cardoso, Edgar Gasperin, David Hilditch, Rita Sousa, João Vasconcelos.
We thank Ana Sousa Carvalho for help and advice with the design.