Detecting environmental effects

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Laura Sberna (Albert Einstein Institute, Potsdam)

Gravitational-wave observations of extreme mass ratio inspirals (EMRIs) hold incredible potential to probe gravity, astrophysical and exotic environments. One of the main effects of astrophysical environments — in particular active galactic nuclei — is the torque exerted by their gaseous disk, which forces EMRIs to “migrate” (mostly) inward like planets. We will review this effect, and present a Bayesian model-independent framework to detect and characterise these environments with LISA. 

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