Compact, diverse and efficient: globular cluster binaries and gravitational wave parameter estimation challenges

Haster, Carl-Johan Olof (2016). Compact, diverse and efficient: globular cluster binaries and gravitational wave parameter estimation challenges. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Following the first detection of gravitational waves from a binary coalescence, the study of the formation and evolution of these gravitational-wave sources and the recovery and analysis of any detected event will be crucial for the newly realised field of observational gravitational wave astrophysics.

This thesis covers a wide range of these topics including simulating the dense environments where compact binaries are likely to form, focusing on binaries containing an intermediate mass black hole (IMBH). It is shown that such binaries do form, are able to merge within a ∼ 100 Myr simulation, and that the careful treatment of the orbital evolution (including post-Newtonian effects) implemented here was crucial for correctly describing the binary evolution. The later part of the thesis covers the analysis of the gravitational waves emitted by such a binary, and shows it is possible to identify the IMBH with high confidence, together with most other parameters of the binary, despite the short-duration signals and assumed uncertainties in the available waveform models. Finally a method for rapid parameter estimation of gravitational wave sources is presented and shown to recover source parameters with comparable accuracy using only a small fraction ∼ 0.1% of the computational resources required by conventional methods.

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: Other
Other Funders: The University of Birmingham
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics


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