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Electromagnetic follow-up of gravitational wave triggers and efficient parallel-tempered Markov chain Monte Carlo inference

Vousden, William Dominic (2015)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

A new generation of ground-based interferometric gravitational wave (GW) detectors is due to begin operation this year, with routine detections anticipated within the next decade. Compact binary coalescences (CBCs), comprising pairs of neutron stars and/or black holes, are among the most promising sources for these detectors. In this work, we focus on two aspects of the science effort in GW astronomy with CBCs.
Firstly, an attractive prospect for GW astronomers, in the wake of a CBC de- tection, is to observe its electromagnetic counterpart using a conventional telescope. In the first part of this thesis, I investigate our prospects for timely electromagnetic follow-up of such events and the degree to which a galaxy catalogue might aid such observation campaigns.
Secondly, an important aspect of the science effort for GW detections is to ef- ficiently estimate the parameters of the system from which a detected signal origi- nated. In the latter part of this thesis I describe a refinement on existing Bayesian inference techniques used for this purpose. I follow this description with a reference implementation and an application to parameter estimation for CBCs.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Mandel, Ilya and Farr, Will
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:School of Physics and Astronomy
Subjects:QB Astronomy
QC Physics
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:6308
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties.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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