Black Holes, Galaxy Clusters and Gravitational Waves

Del Pozzo, Walter (2010). Black Holes, Galaxy Clusters and Gravitational Waves. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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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: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
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 > QC Physics


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