Full professor  
Academic disciplines
Astronomia e astrofisica (FIS/05)
Office phone
  • U02, Floor: 2, Room: 2014


Monica Colpi is Full Professor at the Department of Physics G. Occhialini of the University of Milano Bicocca.nShe received her Master and Ph.D. Degree in Physics from the University of Milano in 1982 and 1987, respectively. She entered the academic career after being visiting scientist at Cornell University and postdoctoral fellow at the International School for Advanced Studies (Sissa, Trieste). Monica Colpi  has broad research interests in the areas of high energy astrophysics, theoretical astrophysics, and general relativity theory.  She has worked on black holes as accreting sources and on neutron stars, in particular on soft X-ray transients, millisecond pulsars and isolated neutron stars in the Milky Way.   Monica Colpi pioneered the field of massive black hole binary formation in gas-rich galaxy mergers, by combining her experience in high energy astrophysics with experience in galactic dynamics, after her studies on dynamical friction and tidal stirring. Binary black holes in interacting galaxies anticipate  the phase of their coalescence driven by the emission of gravitational waves. Colpi has been exploring their formation pathways with use of large-scale N-Body SpH simulations to follow their dynamics.  Coalescing binary black holes, among the loudest sources of gravitational waves in the universe, pinpoint places where galaxies assemble. Detectable out to very high redshifts, these sources are exquisite probes of the process of clustering of galactic structures, and testbed of gravity theories in the strong field regime. Monica Colpi is now actively working in the development of key aspects of the core science of the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) and of the multi-messenger astronomy with LISA,  the LIGO-Virgo Detectors and third  generation interferometers as the Einstein Telescope.



  • IZQUIERDO VILLALBA, D., Sesana, A., Colpi, M. (2022). Unveiling the hosts of parsec-scale massive black hole binaries: morphology and electromagnetic signatures. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY [10.48550/arXiv.2207.04064]. Detail

  • Abbott, R., Abe, H., Acernese, F., Ackley, K., Adhikari, N., Adhikari, R., et al. (2022). Search for continuous gravitational wave emission from the Milky Way center in O3 LIGO-Virgo data. PHYSICAL REVIEW D, 106(4) [10.1103/PhysRevD.106.042003]. Detail

  • Abbott, R., Abe, H., Acernese, F., Ackley, K., Adhikari, N., Adhikari, R., et al. (2022). First joint observation by the underground gravitational-wave detector KAGRA with GEO 600. PROGRESS OF THEORETICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS, 2022(6) [10.1093/ptep/ptac073]. Detail

  • Abbott, R., Abbott, T., Acernese, F., Ackley, K., Adams, C., Adhikari, N., et al. (2022). Search for intermediate-mass black hole binaries in the third observing run of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo. ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS, 659(1 March 2022) [10.1051/0004-6361/202141452]. Detail

  • Abbott, R., Abbott, T., Acernese, F., Ackley, K., Adams, C., Adhikari, N., et al. (2022). Search for Subsolar-Mass Binaries in the First Half of Advanced LIGO's and Advanced Virgo's Third Observing Run. PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 129(6) [10.1103/PhysRevLett.129.061104]. Detail

Research projects

Attività per la fase A della missione LISA
Year: 2020
Call: Bando ASI - Attività per la fase A della missione LISA
LISA - PHASE A: Gravitational Waves from Massive Black Holes in "The Gravitational Universe"
Year: 2017
Call: PRIN 2017
Pulsar e buchi neri: uno sguardo sulle loro proprietà dinamiche, gravitazionali e radiative
Year: 2005
Call: 2005-006 - PRIN 2005