The landmark detection of gravitational waves has opened a new era in physics, giving access to the hitherto unexplored strong-gravity regime, where spacetime curvature is extreme and the relevant speeds are close to the speed of light. In parallel to its countless astrophysical implications, this discovery can also give important insight for fundamental physics.
We investigate various phenomena related to strong gravitational sources such as black holes, neutron stars, and binaries thereof - that can be used to turn these objects into cosmic labs, where matter in extreme conditions, the very foundations of Einstein's theory of gravity, and even particle physics can be put to the test.
We are exploring some outstanding, cross-cutting problems in fundamental physics: the physics of neutron stars, the limits of classical gravity, the nature of black holes and of spacetime singularities, the existence of extra light fields, and the effects of dark matter near compact objects.
We are active members of the LISA and of the Einstein Telescope Consortia, of the “Amaldi Research Center for gravitational physics and astrophysics” at Sapienza, and of the INFN Specific Initiative TEONGRAV - Gravitational Wave Sources.
The above picture of the locomotiv is courtesy of Gianni Battimelli [Cementerio de Trenes, Uyuni (Bolivia), 1999].