UT Center for Relativity
Researchers in the Center for Relativity are involved in the study of gravitation in both the classical and quantum regimes.
The main emphasis in the group is on astrophysical applications of General Relativity (GR), using computers to simulate binary black holes and other relativistic objects. One principal goal of this work is to accurately model sources of gravitational waves, to eventually provide "template" waveforms for use in the data analysis of signals measured at observatories like LIGO. Interpreting these signals provides insight into the earliest epochs of the universe, and the deepest parts compact objects, available to any observational technique. We make use of substantial computing resources both at UT and around the country, and many purely computational problems are worthy of pursuit within the context of our group's research. Students interested in computational physics and/or astrophysics are particularly encouraged to participate.
In addition to numerical studies, students in the group are investigating the structure of Einstein's (10 coupled, nonlinear partial differential) equations from a purely mathematical standpoint as well, including questions about constraint propagation and boundary conditions which are at the forefront of research in the field.
Finally we have students working toward a quantum theory of gravitation, via avenues such as alternate actions for canonical quantization of gravity.