Topics in Bayesian population inference for gravitational wave astronomy

Buscicchio, Riccardo ORCID: 0000-0002-7387-6754 (2022). Topics in Bayesian population inference for gravitational wave astronomy. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The first detection of a gravitational wave by LIGO and Virgo is a milestone for the study of compact objects in the Universe. Since it took place in 2015, a few tens of detections have been confirmed by the LIGO Virgo Collaboration (LVC). Afterwards, other collaborations have confirmed and extended such catalogues with independent analysis on the same datasets. Through exquisite experimental devices, sophisticated data analysis algorithms, and an accurate interpretational effort, these observations constitutes now an invaluable body of knowledge, and are a key piece of observational evidence for our understanding of the astrophysical population of binary systems. The science case is set to continuously expand as detections increase, and space-based gravitational–wave observatories are going to complement current ones with an otherwise inaccessible window to the “gravitational-wave sky”. In this thesis I report on my contributions on a few scientific investigations, including: (i) the development of statistical tools for the simultaneous inference on multiple sources and multiple populations of compact binaries; (ii) the development of a framework for parameter estimation on space-based detector observations, focusing on stellar mass binary black–holes and binary white dwarfs systems; (iii) the predictions of yet unob- served phenomena (e.g. gravitational lensing of gravitational waves) or specific signals (e.g. the stochastic foreground of gravitational waves) and their mutual connections; while developing the tools above I have had the opportunity to provide some insight on: (i) the astrophysical population of binary black hole masses and spins, and their distribution across redshift, therefore providing observational evidence in support of different formation channels; (ii) the future detectability of binary white dwarfs in satellites galaxies of the Milky Way with space-based detectors, with implications on the assembly history of satellite galaxies.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Physics and Astronomy
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics


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