About Cosmic Explorer

Cosmic Explorer is a next-generation observatory concept that will greatly deepen and clarify humanity’s gravitational-wave view of the cosmos. It is envisioned as two L-shaped laser interferometer facilities with up to 40 km arms. Cosmic Explorer will be able to determine the nature of the densest matter in the universe; reveal the universe’s binary black hole and neutron star populations throughout cosmic time; provide an independent probe of the history of the expanding universe; explore warped spacetime with unprecedented fidelity; and expand our knowledge of how massive stars live, die, and create the matter we see today.

With its spectacular sensitivity, Cosmic Explorer will see gravitational-wave sources across the entire universe.  Sources that are barely detectable by Advanced LIGO, Advanced Virgo, and KAGRA will be resolved with incredible precision. The resulting explosion in the number of detected sources — up to millions per year — and the fidelity of observations will have wide-ranging impacts in physics and astronomy. By peering deep into the gravitational-wave sky, Cosmic Explorer will present a unique opportunity for new and unexpected discoveries.

Syracuse University is a founding institution of the Cosmic Explorer Project and is involved in the optical and mode control design (PI Mansell and Ballmer), as well as the search for suitable sites for the observatories (PI Russell).

See the Horizon Study for more information on Cosmic Explorer science, design and technology.

More information about Cosmic Explorer can be found here:

Cosmic explorer home page.             

Cosmic Explorer Horizon Study  

Cosmic Explorer graph
The reach of the Cosmic Explorer 40km observatory for compact binary mergers as a function of total binary mass and redshift at various Signal-to-Noise Ratios(SNR) thresholds. Cosmic Explorer will push the cosmic horizon to the boundary of the population of binary neutron stars (gold), neutron star — black holes (NSBH) (red) and binary black hole mergers (white). The order of magnitude improvement in sensitivity enables observation of new populations, including mergers from Population III black holes (cyan) and speculative primordial black holes (magenta). A sample of observed short gamma-ray burst (GRB) redshifts is shown (yellow, with masses drawn from the Binary Neutron Star population).
SNR>~100 signals (below yellow curve) will enable precision astrophysics. GW170817, GW150914, and GW190521 (stars) are highlighted along with the population of observed compact-object binaries (small triangles). The facility limit (green) is shown with limiting noise sources; upgrades beyond the initial concept may approach this limit. A comparison to A#, A+, and O3 is shown at the bottom.