The search for gravitational waves: an experimental physics challenge
The aim of this paper on the experimental research on gravitational waves is to stimulate the interest of the scientific community on this subject. In the following we try to stress the impact of this subject on fundamental physics, and the interdisciplinary aspects involved in the present experimental efforts. Details of current experiments will not be given. In sections 1- 8, we summarize the main features of gravitational waves and some of the principal astrophysical processes involving emission of gravitational radiation. In sections 9- 18, we review the detection principles, the intrinsic limits of the detectors and the peculiarities of the gravitational-wave data analysis.