Sample of Statistics in Gravitational Waves
Speaker: Steve Drasco (University of St.Andrews)
Gravitational waves are a recently observed natural phenomenon predicted a century ago by Einstein’s theory of gravity, general relativity. They are currently one of the hottest fields of physics and astronomy, generating numerous scientific discoveries and accolades over the past five years. Gravitational waves are produced by nearly any motion of matter, but only the most extreme scenarios produce an effect strong enough to be observed. To date, all such scenarios have involved the merger of compact stellar remnants (black holes and neutron stars). These observations demanded new technologies in engineering, optics, theoretical physics and astrophysics, and data analysis. I will describe gravitational waves in general, as well as two example sources that I have worked on. One is deterministic in nature (the merger of two black holes of vastly different size), while the other is fundamentally probabilistic (a stochastic background that could be produced by a variety of different astrophysical events). For both sources, I will focus on the role of statistics.