The Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) is a Max Planck Institute whose research is aimed at investigating Einstein's theory of relativity and beyond: Mathematics, quantum gravity, astrophysical relativity, and gravitational-wave astronomy. The Institute was founded in 1995 and is located in the Potsdam Science Park in Golm, Potsdam and in Hannover where it is closely related to the Leibniz University Hannover. The Potsdam part of the institute is organized in three research departments, while the Hannover part has two departments. Both parts of the institute host a number of independent research groups.
The institute conducts fundamental research in mathematics, data analysis, astrophysics and theoretical physics as well as research in laser physics, vacuum technology, vibration isolation and classical and quantum optics.
When the LIGO Scientific Collaboration announced the first detection of gravitational waves, researchers of the institute were involved in modeling, detecting, analysing and characterising the signals. The Institute is part of a number of collaborations and projects: it is a main partner in the gravitational-wave detector GEO600; institute scientists are developing waveform-models that are applied in the gravitational-wave detectors for detecting and characterising gravitational waves. They are developing detector technology and are also analyzing data from the detectors of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, the Virgo Collaboration and the KAGRA Collaboration. They also play a leading role in planning and preparing the space-based detector LISA (planned launch date: 2034) and are involved in developing the third generation of earth-bound gravitational-wave detectors (Einstein Telescope, Cosmic Explorer). The institute is also a major player in the Einstein@Home and PyCBC projects.
From 1998 to 2015, the institute has published the open access review journal Living Reviews in Relativity.
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