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Rapid parameterization and estimated inclination of gravitational waves from binary systems

Usman, Samantha Anne 2018. Rapid parameterization and estimated inclination of gravitational waves from binary systems. MPhil Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) has suc-cessfully started the era of gravitational-wave astronomy with its ground-breaking detections of gravitational waves. These signals have opened the doorto a new way to listen to the universe. The detections have already taughtus much about the universe. Firstly, the detection of gravitational waves con-firms a key prediction of Einstein’s theory of General Relativity. LIGO hasalso given more information on binary black hole populations and has con-firmed that short gamma-ray bursts can be generated by binary neutron starmergers. In Chapter 1, I explore the basic premises of gravitational waves,their sources and the detectors that find them. I then explain how we identifythe signals in our data in Chapter 3.We hope to maximize the information we can learn from LIGO’s detections.In order to do that, we need to extract as much information about the sourcesas possible from the gravitational waves. For example, by measuring the dis-tance of black hole binaries accurately, some have suggested constraining theHubble constantH0after multiple measurments. In Chapter 2, I explore thedegeneracy between inclination and distance and LIGO’s ability to constrainthe distance and inclination from binary systems. We find that even withdetectors sensitive to both polarizations of gravitational waves, LIGO wouldbe unable to differentiate a signal from a nearby, inclined system or a far-away, face-on system, without breaking the degeneracy using measurementsfrom electromagnetic signals (for binary neutron star systems), precession (forhighly spinning objects) or higher modes (for high mass-ratio systems).Additionally, it may be beneficial to measure the parameters of binarysystems quickly, especially when there is the chance of detecting an associatedelectromagnetic signature, as is the case with binary neutron star systems andneutron star-black hole binaries. For this reason, I begin to build a case for anew method of rapid parameter estimation in Chapter 4.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Uncontrolled Keywords: physics, gravitational waves, inclination, binary, astrophysics
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 August 2018
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2021 09:33

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