LISA Science Objectives and Investigations


The Science Obejctives (SO) for LISA describe the science that LISA will enable. The subsequent Science Investigations (SI) highlight the ways of obtaining the science by evaluating the LISA data. More details of the science objectives can be found in the LISA Science Requirement Document (SciRD)

SO 1 Study the formation and evolution of compact binary stars in the Milky Way Galaxy
  SI 1.1 Elucidate the formation and evolution of Galactic Binaries by measuring their period, spatial and mass distributions
  SI 1.2 Enable joint gravitational and electromagnetic observations of galactic binaries to study the interplay between gravitational radiation and tidal dissipation in interacting stellar systems
SO 2 Trace the origin, growth and merger history of massive black holes across cosmic ages
  SI 2.1 Search for seed black holes at cosmic dawn
  SI 2.2 Study the growth mechanism of MBHs before the epoch of reionization
  SI 2.3 Observation of EM counterparts to unveil the astrophysical environment around merging binaries
  SI 2.4 Test the existence of intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs)
SO 3 Probe the dynamics of dense nuclear clusters using extreme mass-ratio inspirals (EMRIs)
  SI 3.1 Study the immediate environment of Milky Way like massive black holes (MBHs) at low redshift
SO 4 Understand the astrophysics of stellar origin black holes
  SI 4.1 Study the close environment of Stellar Origin Black Holes (SOBHs) by enabling multi-band and multi-messenger observations at the time of coalescence
  SI 4.2 Disentangle SOBHs binary formation channels
SO 5 Explore the fundamental nature of gravity and black holes
  SI 5.1 Use ring-down characteristics observed in massive black hole binary (MBHB) coalescences to test whether the post-merger objects are the black holes predicted by General Theory of Relativity
  SI 5.2 Use EMRIs to explore the multipolar structure of MBHs
  SI 5.3 Testing for the presence of beyond-GR emission channels
  SI 5.4 Test the propagation properties of gravitational waves
  5.1. Test the presence of massive fields around massive black holes with masses larger than 103 M
SO 6 Probe the rate of expansion of the Universe
  SI 6.1 Measure the dimensionless Hubble parameter by means of gravitational wave observations only
  SI 6.2 Constrain cosmological parameters through joint gravitational wave and electro-magnetic observations
SO 7 Understand stochastic gravitational wave backgrounds and their implications for the early Universe and TeV-scale particle physics
  SI 7.1 Characterise the astrophysical stochastic gravitational wave background
  SI 7.2 Measure, or set upper limits on, the spectral shape of the cosmological stochastic gravitational wave background
SO 8 Search for gravitational wave bursts and unforeseen sources
  SI 8.1 Search for cusps and kinks of cosmic strings
  SI 8.2 Search for unmodelled sources