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Gravitational waves from phase transitions in the early universe

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I review cosmological sources of gravitational waves and prospects for detection, and present recent work on large-scale numerical simulations of gravitational wave production at a first order phase transition. The simulations show that the principal source of gravitational waves is the sound made by bubbles of the new phase as they expand and collide. The amplitude of the gravitational waves from sound of the transition is generically orders of magnitude larger than previous estimates, which could have significant implications for their detectability at eLISA.

This talk is part of the Cosmology Lunch series.

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