LIGO Document P1000125-v1

On the use of higher order waveforms in the search for gravitational waves emitted by compact binary coalescences

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LIGO-P1000125-v1
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P - Publications
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Abstract:
This thesis concerns the use, in gravitational wave data analysis, of higher order waveform
models of the gravitational radiation emitted by compact binary coalescences. We
begin with an introductory chapter that includes an overview of the theory of general
relativity, gravitational radiation and ground-based interferometric gravitational wave
detectors. We then discuss, in Chapter 2, the gravitational waves emitted by compact
binary coalescences, with an explanation of higher order waveforms and how they differ
from leading order waveforms; we also introduce the post-Newtonian formalism. In
Chapter 3 the method and results of a gravitational wave search for low mass compact
binary coalescences using a subset of LIGO's 5th science run data are presented and
in the subsequent chapter we examine how one could use higher order waveforms in
such analyses. We follow the development of a new search algorithm that incorporates
higher order waveforms with promising results for detection eciency and parameter
estimation. In Chapter 5, a new method of windowing time-domain waveforms that
o ers bene t to gravitational wave searches is presented. The nal chapter covers the
development of a game designed as an outreach project to raise public awareness and
understanding of the search for gravitational waves.
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