Final Announcement of Workshop on: 

Gravitational waves, radio pulsars and astrometry:

Testing gravity in the next decade

University of Birmingham (UK)

30-31 March 2006

Click here for the final list of participants and their email addresses.

Worldwide, there is a growing community interested in experimental tests of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity and the study of gravitational astrophysics. In addition to widespread optimism that we are close to the first direct detection of gravitational waves using Earth-bound detectors, radio astronomy is providing the most precise tests yet of GR.  It is therefore timely to review the future of observational gravitational physics in light of new instruments and facilities that will start to become available in the next decade. In particular, The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), the Square-Kilometre-Array (SKA)  and GAIA promise to open up a new phase of observational  gravitational physics using  both photonic and non-photonic windows on the Universe.

In a workshop to be held at the University of Birmingham (UK) on March 30-31, 2006, we would like to bring together the involved communities by discussing the prospects and science of these and other future instruments, highlighting synergies and opportunities for combining the information derived from different but often complementary methods.

The aim of the workshop is to develop experimental strategies, to foster enhanced communication, and to exchange techniques and ideas.


Organizers:  Sergei Klioner (Lohrmann Observatory, Dresden, Email: klioner AT
                      Michael Kramer (Manchester, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Email: mkramer AT
                      Alberto Vecchio (LOC, Birmingham, Email: av AT
                      Graham Woan (Glasgow,  Email: graham AT )


The workshop is organised in sessions, consisting of a small number of invited talks that are meant to inspire discussion on the key issues, followed by contributed talks

Thursday, 30 March

Session I.

10:00  Welcome (AV)
10:05  Introduction and Aims & Objectives of the Workshop (SK, MK, AV, GW)
10:15  SKA: project and status (Phil Diamond)
10:45  Ground-based detectors: projects and status (Raffaele Flaminio)
11:15  GAIA: project and status (Floor van Leeuwen)
11:45  LISA: project and status (Oliver Jennrich)

12:15  Lunch Break

Session II (Chair: Alberto Vecchio)

14:00  Strong field tests of gravity with the SKA: Part 1 & Part 2 (Michael Kramer, Jim Cordes)
14:40  Gravitational Wave Detection using Pulsar Timing:
           Current status and future prospects with the SKA (Frederick Jenet)

15:20   Keplerian type parameterization & its relevance for LISA & SKA (Achamveedu Gopakumar)

15:40  Coffee Break/Discussion

Session III (Chair: Michael Kramer)

16:10  Testing GR with LISA (Leor Barack)
16:50   LISA data analysis challenges (Sam Finn)
17:30   Dynamical models for SKA and LISA (Rainer Spurzem)

18:00  End of day 1

Friday, 31 March

Session IV (Chair: Graham Woan)

09:00  Testing Relativity with Space Astrometry Missions (Sergei Klioner)
09:30   Cosmic influences upon the basic reference systems for GAIA (Michael Soffel)
09:50   Asteroid mass determination and contribution to GR tests (Daniel Hestroffer)
10:10   GR tests and micro-arcsecond light bending parameters by global
           and differential Gaia measurements (Maria Teresa Crosta)

10:30  Coffee break/discussion

Session V (Chair: Sergei Klioner)

11:00  Testing GR with ground-based detectors (B.S. Sathyaprakash)
11:40  Testing the black hole no-hair theorem using LIGO extreme mass ratio inspiral events
           (Jonathan Gair)

12:20  Lunch Break

14:00   The chronogeometrical structure of general relativity and dynamical clock synchronization
           (Luca Lusanna)

14:15   Gravitational astronomy with continuous signals from neutron stars (Cristiano Palomba)
14:30   Rehabilitation of Barycentric Dynamical Time (Patrick Wallace)
14:45  Open Discussion: Synergies, Collaborations, Joint Projects

15:45  Coffee break
16:15  Closing discussions: Action Items, Future Meetings

17:30  End of meeting

Registration: Registration is free. Please contact Carl Sanford by March 12, 2006 if you intent
                       to participate at the workshop. For any other questions, please contact the organizers.

Accommodation: Please, download this pdf-file or EXCEL-file to obtain a list of accommodations. Follow the given contact
                              details to make your arrangements.

Meeting Location:

University of Birmingham
School of Physics and Astronomy
Edgbston B15 2TT
Birmingham (UK)

Maps:    A map of the Edgbaston campus can be found at:

The workshop is taking place in Physics West. This venue is in Zone D on the map, Building 34a.
If you are arriving by taxi you can be dropped outside the rear door to this building inside the campus.
Arrivals by bus or train can walk across campus. There will be signs pointing the way up to the
lecture theatre.

Notes on travel:

By Air:

Birmingham International Airport is just 9 miles east of the city centre and 11 miles from the university campus, making it the easiest arrival point for the meeting from abroad.

British Airways, AirFrance, Alitalia, Lufthansa, KLM, SN Brussels and MyTravel Lite are among the carriers arriving here from Europe.

A taxi from Birmingham International to the city centre (where most of the recommended hotels are situated) will cost GBP 8-10. Alternatively, a train from the adjacent train station to Birmingham New Street (10 mins) will cost around  GBP 3.

If you are arriving to any other airport such as London Gatwick, Stansted, Luton or Heathrow, your best option is to travel into the centre of London on one of the very frequent 'turn up and go' rail and coach links available, and to then take a train from London Euston to Birmingham New Street (90 minutes: cost around  GBP 50 return).

From the City Centre:

The main University campus is situated in Edgbaston, about 2 miles south west of the city centre. Be aware that Birmingham University is distinct from Aston University and UCE (University of Central England).

In a taxi this journey will cost around GBP 6. Trains also leave Birmingham New Street and Five Ways stations at regular intervals 6am-11pm, arriving at University station a few minutes later. Approximate cost GBP 2 one way.

Bus Number 21 ('Bartley Green') runs from the City Centre and Broad Street to the University station on the edge of campus, at regular intervals through the day. Cost GBP 1.20 single fare.