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Title: Can we hear black holes collide?
Author: Harry, I. W.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2752 0807
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2011
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The focus of this work is the attempt to detect gravitational waves emitted by compact binary coalescences (CBCs) using gravitational wave interferometers. We begin by reviewing the basic theory of gravitational waves and the methods for their detection, focusing on CBCs. We also briefly describe the laser interferometers that are being used to attempt to detect gravitational radiation. We describe in detail the search pipeline that has been used to search for gravitational waves emitted from CBCs in data taken by the LIGO and Virgo detectors. We present the latest results of the all-sky, all-time search and electromagnetically triggered searches. We introduce a fully coherent, multi-detector analysis that can be used to search for CBC signals in coincidence with electromagnetically observed events. Using a number of signal consistency tests, including a coherent extension of the often used x2 test, we demonstrate that the coherent search offers an improvement in sensitivity when compared to the previous search method. Additionally we describe an extension of the coherent search that can be used to search for CBC signals where one of the components has spin. This method is well suited to searches for neutron star, black hole binaries. We introduce a "stochastic" algorithm that can be used to create template banks in arbitrary parameter spaces of arbitrary dimension. We demonstrate this method in a search for super-massive CBCs in the mock LISA data challenge. Finally, we present the black hole hunter game, which has been widely used in outreach projects.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available