In 2002 the AEI Hannover branch was opened, as an extension of the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute, AEI) in Potsdam. The AEI Hannover closely collaborates with the Institute for Gravitational Physics of the Leibniz Universität Hannover. Together they contribute to a new era of astronomy, which began with the first direct detection of gravitational waves on Earth on September 14, 2015. As part of this search, the AEI is a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), which collects data from the world's most sensitive gravitational wave detectors, and operates the German-British gravitational-wave detector GEO600, located 20 kilometers south of Hannover. GEO600 could detect gravitational waves from the cosmic neighbourhood, if a nearby event were strong enough. The Institute also develops advanced measurement technologies and concepts for future gravitational-wave detectors. It leads the preparation and operation of the satellite missions LISA Pathfinder and eLISA (scheduled for launch in 2034) and is an important partner for the geodesy mission GRACE Follow-on.
The Hanover branch is a central partner in the global joint data analysis efforts of the LSC. To search the observational data for gravitational waves, the Hanover branch of AEI develops highly efficient analysis methods and implements them on supercomputers. For this purpose, it operates Atlas, the most powerful computer cluster in the world designed for gravitational-wave data analysis. Together with US partners, the AEI in Hanover also runs the distributed computing project Einstein@Home in which volunteers from all over the world participate in the data analysis with their PCs, laptops, or smartphones.
In addition, there is the possibility of individual doctoral research. Please contact the directors or research group leaders at the Institute.
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