Alessandro Alberto Trani
Theoretical & Computational Astrophysics
GRAVITATIONAL WAVE ASTROPHYSICS
My current research is dedicated to unravelling the mysteries behind gravitational wave events, first observed in 2015, whose astrophysical nature remains unknown. To address this, I am actively developing new analytic and numerical tools for modeling the evolution of gravitational wave progenitors. The core questions guiding my investigation include:
How do black hole binaries form and merge?
Which astrophysical environments nurture them?
How can we discern their origin from observed gravitational wave signals?
One of the key processes to form coalescing black hole binaries are dynamical interactions, which allow binaries to form and to shrink, until gravitational wave radiation makes them merge.
A black hole binary (1,2) and a single black hole (3) meet in a small region of space, and undergo violent gravitational interactions, until one of the black hole is ejected and a new exchanged binary forms.
The new binary has a gravitational wave coalescence timescale one million times shorter than the original one.
Such intense dynamical interactions happen in dense stellar environments known as star clusters. My research findings illustrate the impact of these interactions on the characteristics of spinning binary black holes, resulting in distinctive signatures observable through gravitational wave detectors.
However, the complexity of the three-body problem extends beyond its astrophysical applications. Together with my students, I have authored several papers about the nature of chaos in the three-body problem, and how can we solve it using statistical theories and machine learning techniques.
Below is the famous figure-of-eight, one of the few non-hierarchical periodic solutions of the planar three-body problem with equal masses.
- Breakthrough in predicting chaotic outcomes in three-body systems! The paper I wrote together with graduate student Viraj Manwadkar and Barak Kol, “Measurement of three-body chaotic absorptivity predicts chaotic outcome distribution“, was highlighted in phys.org
I am a theoretical and computational astrophysicist, specialized in gravitational dynamics.
I currently hold a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
I am part of the Gravitational Wave Astrophysics group at the Niels Bohr International Academy.
2017: Ph.D. in Astrophysics, International School for Advanced Studies, Trieste, Italy. 2017-2020: JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of Tokyo, Japan. 2020-2022: Genesis Fellow, The University of Tokyo, Japan. 2020-2024: Visiting Scientist, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Japan. 2022: Research Center for the Early Universe Fellow, The University of Tokyo, Japan. 2022-2023: Senior COFUND Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow, Niels Bohr Institute, Denmark. 2023-2025: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow, Niels Bohr Institute, Denmark.