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Gauge Invariant Spectral Cauchy Characteristic Extraction of Gravitational Waves in Computational General Relativity


Handmer, Casey John (2015) Gauge Invariant Spectral Cauchy Characteristic Extraction of Gravitational Waves in Computational General Relativity. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/Z9NP22DZ.


We present a complete system for Spectral Cauchy characteristic extraction (Spectral CCE). Implemented in C++ within the Spectral Einstein Code (SpEC), the method employs numerous innovative algorithms to efficiently calculate the Bondi strain, news, and flux.

Spectral CCE was envisioned to ensure physically accurate gravitational wave-forms computed for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory (LIGO) and similar experiments, while working toward a template bank with more than a thousand waveforms to span the binary black hole (BBH) problem’s seven-dimensional parameter space.

The Bondi strain, news, and flux are physical quantities central to efforts to understand and detect astrophysical gravitational wave sources within the Simulations of eXtreme Spacetime (SXS) collaboration, with the ultimate aim of providing the first strong field probe of the Einstein field equation.

In a series of included papers, we demonstrate stability, convergence, and gauge invariance. We also demonstrate agreement between Spectral CCE and the legacy Pitt null code, while achieving a factor of 200 improvement in computational efficiency.

Spectral CCE represents a significant computational advance. It is the foundation upon which further capability will be built, specifically enabling the complete calculation of junk-free, gauge-free, and physically valid waveform data on the fly within SpEC.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Gravitational waves, Numerical methods, General relativity, Black holes
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Chen, Yanbei (advisor)
  • Ott, Christian D. (advisor)
Group:TAPIR, Astronomy Department, LIGO
Thesis Committee:
  • Chen, Yanbei (chair)
  • Szilagyi, Bela
  • Scheel, Mark
  • Weinstein, Alan Jay
  • Phinney, E. Sterl
  • Patterson, Ryan B.
  • Ott, Christian D.
Defense Date:14 May 2015
Non-Caltech Author Email:casey.handmer (AT)
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05282015-131606315
Persistent URL:
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Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8897
Deposited By: Casey Handmer
Deposited On:04 Jun 2015 22:53
Last Modified:26 Oct 2021 18:23

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