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Gravitational waves from first order phase transitions

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Gravitational waves can represent a unique probe of the very early universe. This seminar concentrates on a particular source of a stochastic background of gravitational waves, namely a primordial first order phase transition. The gravitational wave signal is generated by the collision of the broken phase bubbles and by the magnetohydrodynamic turbulence in the primordial plasma stirred by the bubble collision. It will be shown how the main features of the gravitational wave spectrum can be predicted by general arguments based on the source properties, such as its time evolution and space structure. Detection prospects will be discussed especially for the electroweak phase transition, in connection with the new NGO /eLISA mission.

This talk is part of the DAMTP Friday GR Seminar series.

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