SALVATORE VITALE, Assistant Professor of Physics

Assistant Professor of Physics

EMAIL: salvatore.vitale@ligo.mit.edu

PHONE: (617) 253-0203

OFFICE: NW22-259

ASSISTANT: Marie Woods (617) 253-4824


Area of Physics:

Gravitational-wave astrophysics

Research Interests

Gravitational waves have been detected in the Fall of 2015 by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), nearly one hundred years after Einstein had predicted their existence. This major discovery marks the beginning of a new era for astrophysics. The signals detected by LIGO will yield precious information about their sources. Estimation of physical parameters of known sources, such as binary black holes and neutron stars will shed light on the properties of this extreme objects. At the same time, LIGO could also detect signals from unknown or poorly modeled sources (e.g. core collapse supernovae).

The work of Professor Vitale covers several aspects of this new field. He is interested in the characterization of compact objects, and their formation channels, as well as in the possibility of using gravitational waves to perform strong-field tests of general relativity. He has been deeply involved with the analysis of the first two sources discovered by LIGO. At the MIT, he has developed a low-latency search for unmodeled signals, which is one of the two algorithms that discovered the first-ever gravitational wave signal. More recently, he has been investigating the possibilities of the proposed next generation of gravitational-wave observatories.

Biographical Sketch

Salvatore Vitale joined the MIT Physics Department as an Assistant Professor in January 2017. He obtained his bachelor and master degrees in physics at the University of Bologna, and his phD in physics at the Pierre et Marie Curie University, Paris, in 2010. He has been a postdoctoral associate at the Nikhef of Amsterdam. Before joining the faculty, he has been a postdoctoral associate and a research scientist at the MIT LIGO Lab.

Selected Publications

  • S. Vitale and H-Y. Chen “Measuring the Hubble Constant with Neutron Star Black Hole Mergers”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 121 021303 (2018)
  • S. Vitale et al, “Impact of Bayesian Priors on the Characterization of Binary Black Hole Coalescences”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 119 251103 (2017)
  • S. Vitale et al, "Use of gravitational waves to probe the formation channels of compact binaries", Class. and Quantum Gravity Lett. 34, 3 L1 (2017)
  • S. Vitale, “Multi-band gravitational-wave astronomy: parameter estimation and tests of general relativity with space and ground-based detectors”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 051102 (2016)
  • S. Vitale et al., “Measuring the spin of black holes in binary systems using gravitational waves”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 251101 (2014)
  • The LIGO-Virgo Collaboration, “Tests of General Relativity with GW150914”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 116 221101 (2016)
  • The LIGO-Virgo Collaboration, “GW151226: Observation of Gravitational Waves from a 22-Solar-Mass Binary Black Hole Coalescence”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 116 241103 (2016)

Last updated on July 15, 2020 4:42 PM