Dr. M. Alessandra Papa

Leader of the permament independent research group “Continuous Gravitational Waves” and Adjunct professor, UWM, Wisconsin, USA

What is your current position at our institute?

I am a permanent independent research group leader.

What is your academic education?

  • Laurea (Master) in Physics, U. Rome
  • PhD physics U. Rome

What were your previous academic positions?

  • Staff scientist MPI Potsdam (permanent)
  • Senior scientist UWM (permanent)
  • Senior scientist MPI Hannover (W2)
  • Centrally funded and permanent-Independent-Research-Group (leader)

Can you please summarize your research?

I try and detect continuous gravitational waves.

Do you have a favorite figure from a paper you co-authored?

95% confidence upper limits on the intrinsic gravitational wave amplitude in half-Hz bands. We assume orbital inclination at 44° ± 6° (lower black points) and arbitrary inclination (upper black points). The lower dashed and solid curves are the torque-balance upper limits, based on estimates of the mass accretion rate and assuming the accretion torque to be at the neutron star radius (lower solid red curve) or at the Alfvén radius (upper dashed red curve). For comparison we show the upper limits from previous results (the three fainter upper curves) and draw the incorrect torque balance Alfvén radius upper limit that was reported (dash-dot line).

These are upper limits on the gravitational wave strain amplitude from the low-mass X-ray binary Sco X-1, which we published in Search for Continuous Gravitational Waves from Scorpius X-1 in LIGO O2 Data. It is exciting to see how our searches begin to probe astrophysical interesting questions.

Why did you choose the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics for your research?

Its resources for my research.

Read more about M. Alessandra Papa's research on her group's webpage.

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