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Fundamental Ways to Probe Gravitational Waves Across Its Spectrum and Propagation


Tso, Rhondale (2022) Fundamental Ways to Probe Gravitational Waves Across Its Spectrum and Propagation. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/jeja-rr34.


In 2015, the detection of gravitational waves (GWs) from merging black holes by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the VIRGO Collaboration opened a new era of observational astronomy. This thesis covers a range of topics on how to test the general theory of relativity using current and future GW detectors --- both ground- and space-based. Starting from general principles, in Chapter 2, we survey how well the so-called parameterized post-Einstein parameters for binary black hole GWs can be constrained by multi-band GW detection, which employs both ground-based detectors (including Einstein Telescope and Cosmic Explorer) and space-based detectors (including the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna and deci-Hertz detectors).

In Chapter 3, we address the limitations of the Fisher Information Matrix approach in testing relativity. Chapter 4 proposes a novel experimental strategy for multi-band GW observation. More specifically, the detection of a stellar-mass binary from the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna can provide forewarning for ground-based observations, e.g., by third-generation detectors. Adjusting optical configurations of ground-based detectors targeting this particular binary can significantly improving our accuracy in testing the "no-hair theorem" of black holes. In Chapter 5, we establish a systematic framework that describes how the propagation of GWs can differ from predictions of general relativity, incorporating both dispersion and birefringence. In Chapter 6, we focus the specific example of massive gravitons and show how the so-called Vainshtein screening of the graviton's mass, by the host galaxy of the source, the Milky way galaxy -- and galaxies in between -- can be extracted from an ensemble of signals.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Black holes, gravitational waves, testing GR, tests of relativity
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Chen, Yanbei
Thesis Committee:
  • Weinstein, Alan Jay (chair)
  • Adhikari, Rana
  • Wise, Mark B.
  • Chen, Yanbei
Defense Date:9 May 2022
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipDGE-1144469
Gates Millenium Scholars ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Ford FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:06012022-151653695
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription adapted for Chapter 7. adapted for Chapter 4. adapted for Chapter 5. adapted for Chapter 3.
Tso, Rhondale0000-0003-4464-0117
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14921
Deposited By: Rhondale Tso
Deposited On:07 Jun 2022 21:44
Last Modified:14 Jun 2022 17:21

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