I’ve arrived to College Park (in the Washington DC area) today, after a rather trying trip from Paris to Dulles (eight hours flight) and from there to the nearby hotel (3 (sic) hours taxi!). I’m participating in the 6th International LISA Symposium, which starts next Monday. I’ll present a poster, initially devised as a talk, giving an overview of the software aspects of Lisa Pathfinder’s development, which is currently well underway. To judge from the number of presentations (50), posters (75) and participants (250) in the symposium, there is a quite active community pushing hard to make LISA a reality, and i expect to learn a lot about the project and its prospects during the week. So the following days will probably be quiet ones here at physics musings. But i’ll be back ;)
Update: Over at Not Even Wrong, Peter Woit is reporting about some news claiming that, somehow, LISA will test string theory. My impression from the field is that nobody in the symposium is seriously talking about that, with the exception of Odylio Aguiar’s talk (mentioned here), which i couldn’t attend.
Update: Finally, there was some talk about string theory in the symposium. Yesterday morning, Craig Hogan gave a talk entitled New physics with LISA where he discussed the potential detectability of a stochastic GW background which would be a relic from an inflationary period and gave some qualitative analysis of cosmic strings as generators of gravitational waves. To be honest, i understood nearly nothing, and was left with a feeling of handwavyness, if only because in the conclusions Craig jokingly admitted that, most probably, in the next LISA Symposium he will give a talk with the same title but totally different contents!