The direct detection of gravitational wave by LIGO indicates the coming of the era of gravitational wave astronomy and gravitational wave cosmology. It is expected that more and more gravitational wave events will be detected by currently existing and planed gravitational wave detectors. The gravitational waves open a new window to explore the Universe and various mysteries will be disclosed through the gravitational wave detection, combined with other cosmological probes. The gravitational wave physics is not only related to gravitation theory, but also is closely tied to fundamental physics, cosmology and astrophysics. In this review article, three kinds of sources of gravitational waves and relevant physics will be discussed, namely gravitational waves produced during the inflation and preheating phases of the Universe, the gravitational waves produced during the first order phase transition as the Universe cools down and the gravitational waves from the three phases: inspiral, merger and ringdown of a compact binary system, respectively. We will also discuss the gravitational waves as a standard siren to explore the evolution of the Universe.
R. Cai, Z. Cao, Z. Guo, et. al.
Thu, 2 Mar 17
Comments: 37 pages, 7 figures, invited review for National Science Review