Spinning black-hole binaries as gravitational and cosmological probes

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Spins play a major role in the strong-field dynamics of
black-hole binaries and their gravitational-wave emission. By detecting spin
effects in the waveforms, existing and future gravitational-wave detectors
therefore provide a natural way to test gravity in strong-field, highly
dynamical regimes.

In the first part of my talk, I will show that the
inclusion of the spins in the gravitational templates for future space-based
detectors will permit testing scenarios for the formation and cosmological
evolution of supermassive black holes, and possibly shed light on models of
galaxy formation. In the second part, I will show that the effective-one-body
(EOB) model provides an efficient way to account for spin effects in both the
dynamics and waveforms, by combining information from post-Newtonian theory,
the self-force formalism, and numerical-relativity simulations.