The Gravitational Universe
Gravity is the dominant force in the universe. We propose the first ever mission to survey the entire universe directly with gravitational waves, to tell us about the formation of structure and galaxies, stellar evolution, the early universe, and the structure and nature of spacetime itself. Most importantly, there will be enormous potential for discovering the parts of the universe that are invisible by other means, such as black holes, the Big Bang, and other, as yet unknown objects.
The European Space Agency has recently called for L3 mission concepts. “The Gravitational Universe” is the scientific theme of the L3 mission, to be pursued by implementing a gravitational wave observatory. Among the key subjects to be addressed by the mission concepts that are proposed in response to this Call are: the nature of gravity, the nature of black holes and black holes as sources of energy, dynamics of galactic nuclei, formation and evolution of stellar binary systems, the very early universe, cosmological issues such as the cosmic distance scale.