Homepage of M. Alessandra Papa
Prof. Dr. M. Alessandra PapaLeader of the Max Planck Permanent Independent Research Group
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 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.
Searching LIGO data is an amazing opportunity to detect a continuous gravitational wave signal. Directly through my own work and by coordinating the work of my group, this is what I strive to achieve.