Investigating the prospects for constraining the Hubble constant using compact binary coalescences as standard sirens

Datrier, Laurence Élise Hélène (2018) Investigating the prospects for constraining the Hubble constant using compact binary coalescences as standard sirens. MSc(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The use of gravitational wave observations from compact binary inspirals as standard sirens was first proposed by Schutz in 1986. Following the recent observations of compact binary coalescences by the Advanced LIGO detectors and the first standard siren measurement of the Hubble constant with the binary neutron star merger GW170817, and in anticipation of future detections during upcoming observing runs, it is useful to further investigate standard sirens, the gravitational wave analogues of standard candles, as an alternative way to measure the Hubble constant. Compact binary inspirals are well modelled, and their luminosity distance can be obtained from GW observations. From these distance measurements and using redshifts from EM galaxy catalogues and Bayesian inference, it is possible to assign a probability to each host galaxy, and a value for the Hubble constant can be obtained. While a redshift can sometimes be obtained from multi-messenger observations of binary neutron star coalescences, binary black hole mergers are not expected to produce electromagnetic signals, making statistical approaches an important tool in cosmology using gravitational waves. In this project, an investigation of statistical methods of measuring the Hubble constant with standard sirens is carried out using simulated data, to find out how well we can constrain the Hubble constant and to characterise the biases due to selection effects coming from the incompleteness of EM galaxy catalogues. Results are obtained for a range of aLIGO sensitivities, using both binary black hole and binary neutron star mergers as standard sirens. This constitutes an independent measurement of the Hubble constant that is competitive with other methods.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Cosmology, gravitational waves, physics, astronomy, standard sirens, gravitational wave cosmology.
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Supervisor's Name: Hendry, Professor Martin and Messenger, Dr. Christopher
Date of Award: 2018
Depositing User: Miss Laurence E. H. Datrier
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-30621
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2018 11:04
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2018 13:01

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