Dr. Maria Alessandra Papa

Callinstraße 38

30167 Hannover


Dr. Maria Alessandra Papa

Dr. Maria Alessandra Papa

Dr. Maria Alessandra Papa


Max Planck Research Group Leader


  • +49 511 762-17160


  • +49 511 762-17182



Main Focus

The goal of my research is to detect a continuous gravitational wave signal (CW). I coordinate the deployment of the Einstein@Home CW searches on LIGO and Virgo data and the mining of the results. My group has consistently deployed the deepest surveys on LIGO data and, in the absence of a detection, has provided the tightest constraints on the amplitude of CW signals at Earth.

Hand in hand with this work on the data goes the improvement of the search methods, the development of optimisation techniques to pick the most promising signals to search for and investigations to explore different emission mechanisms.

CW searches are computationally limited. For this reason we use the Einstein@Home volunteer computing project, with its Petaflop performance, as our main work-horse. There is a non-trivial overhead associated to setting-up each Einstein@Home search, which must run flawlessly on hundreds of thousands of different computer architectures and operating systems.

Access to advanced LIGO/Virgo data is an amazing opportunity to make the first detection of a continuous gravitational wave signal. Directly through my own work and by coordinating the work of a broader group of people, this is what I strive to achieve.

Organizational Unit (Department, Group, Facility):

  • Location Hannover
  • Searching for Continuous Gravitational Waves
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