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A Search for Gravitational Waves from Perturbed Black Hole Ringdowns in LIGO Data


Goggin, Lisa Maria (2008) A Search for Gravitational Waves from Perturbed Black Hole Ringdowns in LIGO Data. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/VKN2-K456.


According to General Relativity a perturbed black hole will return to a stable configuration by the emission of gravitational radiation in a superposition of quasi-normal modes. Such a perturbation will occur due to the coalescence of a black hole binary, following their inspiral and subsequent merger. At late times the waveform, which we refer to as a ringdown, is expected to be dominated by a single mode. As the waveform is well-known the method of matched filtering can be implemented to search for this signal using LIGO data. LIGO is sensitive to the dominant mode of perturbed black holes with masses between 10 and 500 Msun, the regime of intermediate-mass black holes, to a distance of up to 300 Mpc. We present a search for gravitational waves from black hole ringdowns using data from the fourth LIGO science run. We implement a blind analysis of the data. We use Monte Carlo simulations of the expected waveform, and an estimation of the background from timeslides to tune the search. We present an analysis of the waveform parameter estimation and estimate the efficiency of the search. As there were no gravitational wave candidates found, we place an upper limit on the rate of black hole ringdowns in the local universe.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:black holes; gravitational waves; LIGO; quasi-normal modes; ringdowns
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Weinstein, Alan Jay
Thesis Committee:
  • Weinstein, Alan Jay (chair)
  • Lange, Andrew E.
  • Porter, Frank C.
  • Chen, Yanbei
Defense Date:13 May 2008
Non-Caltech Author Email:lmgoggin (AT)
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-05232008-125947
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5195
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:02 Jun 2008
Last Modified:03 Dec 2019 22:31

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