Wolfgang Tichy

Welcome to my homepage!

I am a member of the FAUST Group in the Physics Department at Florida Atlantic University. If you would like to send me electronic mail, please send it to wolf "at" fau.edu. My research interests span a broad range of topics including projects in numerical relativity, gravitational waves, post-Newtonian theory.


The NSF's LIGO gravitational wave detectors are among a number of new facilities all over the world which are designed to directly detect and measure gravitational waves. These waves come from a variety of astrophysical sources and open a new window to the universe. One of the most promising sources for these detectors are the inspirals and mergers of compact-object binaries (i.e., systems containing black holes or neutron stars). As the two objects get close, fully non-linear numerical simulations of the Einstein equations are required to make predictions about the final part of the inspiral and subsequent merger. Using the moving puncture approach, it is possible to evolve compact-object binaries through many orbits, merger and the ringdown of the final black hole. The main task is to accurately model different physical problems. In particular, we are working on several key physics issues such as: (i) How important is neutron star spin in the evolutions of neutron star binaries? (ii) How can we best join a very long post-Newtonian inspiral waveform and a numerically obtained waveform from a compact object binary? (iii) Up to which frequency can post-Newtonian waveforms be trusted, and how does this frequency depend on spins and mass ratios? (iv) Can we get significantly better waveforms if we use more realistic initial data with less artificial "junk" radiation? (v) We also work on the production of gravitational wave templates that can be useful for LIGO's data analysis. A highly efficient computer code is needed to address these issues. We are using BAM code, that has been developed by the numerical relativity groups at the University of Jena in Germany and our group Florida Atlantic University (FAU). Currently we are working on improving BAM's accuracy for neutron star simulations. At FAU we have also developed a spectral initial data code (SGRID) that can set up initial conditions for realistic neutron stars with spin. We are also developing the next generation code Nmesh that uses discontinuous Galerkin methods to achieve high accuracy simulations.

Preprints: arXiv (new search), (old search)
Publications on INSPIRE
Curriculum Vitae and Research Interests

Pages with some of my research:

Two black holes in orbit
Two neutron stars in orbit
Orbits around single black holes
High-Order, Asymptotically Matched Initial Data
Eccentricity Reduction


Some fun stuff:

Gravity, black holes and gravitational waves for dummies
Britney Spears and Semiconductors
Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
Basic Facts (helpful for dealing with religious extremists or other extremists)
Tree of Life
My favorite bookmarks.