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Black Holes, Galaxy Clusters and Gravitational Waves

Del Pozzo, Walter (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis deals with three aspects of modern astrophysical research. We propose a Bayesian data analysis framework to test alternative theories of gravity using observations of Gravitational Waves (GWs) from the inspiral phase of binary systems. We compare General Relativity predictions to the ones from a Massive Graviton theory. We can discriminate between the two theories and produce posterior probability distribution functions. We also devise a method to combine multiple observations that y increases the amount of information that is possible to extract from GWs. Using current wide-field sky survey s, in concert with the established Luminosity -- Black Hole mass relation, we calculate the mass distribution of supermassive massive black holes (SMBHs) and Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) in three different environments. SMBHs and radio-AGNs are concentrated in dense environments. The Black Hole Fundamental Plane predicts X-ray properties for our SMBHs and unifies modes of AGN activity in terms of the rate of accretion. Studying two-body mergers of realistic galaxy clusters, we show that these reproduce the observed metallicity distribution in the Intra Cluster Medium (ICM). We characterise entropy generation and mixing induced by the merger process.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Raychaudhury, Somak
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:School of Physics and Astronomy
Subjects:QC Physics
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1321
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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