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Can we hear black holes collide?

Harry, Ian William 2011. Can we hear black holes collide? PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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The focus of this work is the attempt to detect gravitational waves emitted by compact binary coalescences (CBCs) using gravitational wave interferometers. We begin by reviewing the basic theory of gravitational waves and the methods for their detection, focusing on CBCs. We also briefly describe the laser interferometers that are being used to attempt to detect gravitational radiation. We describe in detail the search pipeline that has been used to search for gravitational waves emitted from CBCs in data taken by the LIGO and Virgo detectors. We present the latest results of the all-sky, all-time search and electromagnetically triggered searches. We introduce a fully coherent, multi-detector analysis that can be used to search for CBC signals in coincidence with electromagnetically observed events. Using a number of signal consistency tests, including a coherent extension of the often used x2 test, we demonstrate that the coherent search offers an improvement in sensitivity when compared to the previous search method. Additionally we describe an extension of the coherent search that can be used to search for CBC signals where one of the components has spin. This method is well suited to searches for neutron star, black hole binaries. We introduce a "stochastic" algorithm that can be used to create template banks in arbitrary parameter spaces of arbitrary dimension. We demonstrate this method in a search for super-massive CBCs in the mock LISA data challenge. Finally, we present the black hole hunter game, which has been widely used in outreach projects.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
ISBN: 9781303223310
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2020 03:42

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