Gran Capità 2-4
E-08034 Barcelona, Spain
- Graduate in Physics, Universitat de Barcelona, 1975
- PhD in Physics, Universitat de Barcelona, 1980
I was born in 1953. Since 2005, I am a Research Professor at CSIC, the Spanish National Research Council. Before that, I was teaching for 25 years at the University of Barcelona, where I had earlier graduated in Physics (1975), and also gotten my PhD (1980). Since 1987 I have been working in various areas of Gravitational Wave (GW) detection Science. At present, I am PI of a Project funded by the Spanish National Space Programme which is supporting our Institute's contribution to ESA's LISA PathFinder (LPF) mission. LPF is primarily a technology demonstrator for LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna), but is still a scientifically interesting mission on its own, as it will carry on board an unprecedentedly accurate drag-free environment. LPF will operate from a Lissajous orbit around Lagrange point L1, where environmental Solar System conditions will be essentially those of LISA. LISA is a joint ESA-NASA mission which will constitute the first GW observatory from space, sensitive to low frequency signals in a band from 0.1 Hz down to 0.1 milli-Hertz, where a large variety of astrophysical events will be observable through a so far unexplored window ---the GW window. LISA is, accordingly, a mission of considerable relevance for Astrophysics, Cosmology and Fundamental Physics. Events in April 2011 resulted in LISA becoming a Europe only mission, due to major NASA financial difficulties, which meant a redefinition of LISA had to be in place for ESA's selection process for Large missions in its Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 programme. This happened in the beginning of April 2012, where three mission candidates competed for the first launch (dubbed L1): Athena (former IXO, a large X-ray telescope), NGO (former LISA, a gravitational wave telescope) and JUICE (former Laplace, an explorer of the Jovian moons). JUICE was finally selected for L1, but LISA/NGO did best scientifically. The LISA community is thus already working to recompose a proposal to apply for L2, the second large mission launch of ESA's CV 2015-2025 programme.