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Mark Hannam

Professor Mark Hannam

Gravity Exploration Institute
Deputy Head of Group

School of Physics and Astronomy

Email
HannamMD@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 29208 70167
Campuses
Queen's Buildings - North Building, Room N/1.17, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

I study black holes and gravitational waves. Black holes are the most extreme objects in the universe (that we know of!), and gravitational waves are the opposite: they are so weak that they can only be detected with the most sensitive instruments that humans have ever built; when they were measured for the first time in 2015, it was one hundred years after Einstein first prediced them. Those signals were produced by black holes colliding with each other. My research has focussed on understanding and modelling the gravitational-wave signals from just such events, and the models we devevlop are used to measure the properties of those events -- how massive were the black holes, how fast were they spinning, and where were they in the universe? These measurements are filling in details in our understanding of how black holes form, and, in turn, about the past, present and future of our universe.

Publication

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Cynadleddau

  • Puerrer, M., Smith, R., Field, S., Canizares, P., Raymond, V., Gair, J. and Hannam, M. 2017. Accelerating parameter estimation of gravitational waves from black hole binaries with reduced order quadratures. Presented at: 14th Marcel Grossman Meeting On Recent Developments in Theoretical and Experimental General Relativity, 12 -18 July 2015 Presented at Bianchi, M., Jantzen, R. T. and Ruffini, R. eds.14th Marcel Grossman Meeting On Recent Developments in Theoretical and Experimental General Relativity, Astrophysics and Relativistic Field Theories: Proceedings of the MG14 Meeting on General Relativity. World Scientific Publishing pp. 2015-2018., (10.1142/9789813226609_0218)
  • Puerrer, M., Hannam, M. and Ohme, F. 2017. Can we measure individual black-hole spins from gravitational-wave observations?. Presented at: 14th Marcel Grossman Meeting On Recent Developments in Theoretical and Experimental General Relativity, 12 -18 July 2015 Presented at Bianchi, M., Jantzen, R. T. and Ruffini, R. eds.14th Marcel Grossman Meeting On Recent Developments in Theoretical and Experimental General Relativity, Astrophysics and Relativistic Field Theories: Proceedings of the MG14 Meeting on General Relativity. World Scientific Publishing pp. 3144-3148., (10.1142/9789813226609_0399)
  • Sathyaprakash, B. S. et al. 2011. Scientific potential of Einstein Telescope. Presented at: Rencontres de Moriond, Gravitational Waves and Experimental Gravity, La Thuile, Italy, 3-10 March 2012 Presented at Auge, E., Dumarchez, J. and Tran Thanh Van, J. eds.Proceedings of the 47th Rencontres de Moriond, Gravitational Waves and Experimental Gravity, La Thuile, Italy, 3-10 March 2012. Vietnam: The Gioi Publishers
  • Sperhake, U., Brügmann, B., González, J. A., Hannam, M. and Husa, S. 2008. Head-on collisions of different initial data. Presented at: 11th Marcel Grossmann Meeting on General Relativity, Berlin, Germany, 23-29 July 2006 Presented at Kleinert, H. and Jantzen, R. T. eds.The 11th Marcel Grossmann Meeting: On Recent Developments in Theoretical and Experimental General Relativity, Gravitation and Relativistic Field Theories, Proceedings of the MG11 Meeting, Part 1, Berline, Germany, 23-29 July 2006. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing pp. 1612-1614., (10.1142/9789812834300_0210)

Erthyglau

Gwefannau

Research

Research interests

Numerical Relativity and Gravitational-Wave Astronomy

Numerical Relativity involves solving Einstein's equations of generalrelativity on a computer, and one of the most exciting currentapplications is to model two black holes that orbit each other, inspiraltogether, and merge to form a single black hole. The reason this is so topical is that these simulations are the only way to predict thegravitational-wave signal from black-hole mergers, which provided the first direct gravitational-wave observations by LIGO in 2015 -- and indeed, many more detections since then. Our gravitational-wave signal models were used to decipher the properties of those first direct gravitational-wave detections. As the detectors become more sensitive, and we are able to extract more detailed information from gravitational-wave signals, we need to move beyond the simple approximate models that we have developed so far, and construct precision models that capture all of the physics of black-hole-binary systems.

Teaching

I teach the 4th-year course, "Introductinon to General Relativity", and the MSc course "Numerical relativity and waveform modelling".

Biography

I studied at Waikato and Canterbury Universities in New Zealand, and atthe University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in the USA. During my PhDI numerically solved the equations necessary to provide the initialconditions for simulations of collisions of black holes.

After I completed my PhD in 2003, I embarked on a research world tour,stopping at the University of Texas at Brownsville; theFriedrich-Schiller-University in Jena, Germany; University College Cork,Ireland; and the University of Vienna, Austria. In 2010 I came to Cardiffas an STFC Advanced Fellow, and became a professor in 2015. In 2015 I was also awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant to study precessing binary black holes.

Supervisions

  • Numerical relativity
  • Gravitational waves
  • Black holes
  • Waveform modelling
  • Astrophysical implications of gravitational-wave observations