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Gravitational waves with gamma-ray bursts

Williamson, Andrew Robert 2016. Gravitational waves with gamma-ray bursts. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Gravitational waves have now twice been detected emanating from the merging of binary black hole systems. In this thesis we detail the methods used to search for binary merger gravitational wave signals associated with short gamma-ray bursts, focusing on systems that include at least one neutron star. We first cover the background theory behind gravitational wave emission, the means of detection via interferometry, and the types of astrophysical sources that could be detected now or in the near future. We follow this with a review of gamma-ray burst theory and observations, focusing in particular those bursts with short durations. These are likely to be caused by the mergers of binaries that include a neutron star and a black hole, or two neutron stars — events of great interest to gravitational wave astronomy. We then discuss the methods used to search gravitational wave data in a targeted way, using the prior observation of a short gamma-ray bursts to focus the analysis and improve the chances of making a detection. We also summarise early searches of this kind and present the results of a search carried out on LIGO and Virgo data spanning 2005–2010, targeting short gamma-ray bursts detected by the InterPlanetary Network. We then turn our attention to the current, second generation of gravitational wave detectors. We present a detailed calculation of the prospects of success for the targeted short gamma-ray burst search technique, and find that we might reasonably expect to make up to a few detections per year around the turn of the decade. We then outline a new search structure for use during the second generation of detectors, and an astrophysical event alert system for the control rooms of gravitational wave observatories. We end with a presentation of the results of the new and improved search carried out during the first observing run of Advanced LIGO.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Uncontrolled Keywords: astrophysics, gravitational waves, gravitational wave astronomy, gamma-ray bursts, neutron stars, multi-messenger astronomy
Funders: STFC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 November 2016
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2021 09:52

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