Hands-on gravitational wave astronomy: Extracting astrophysical information from simulated signals

Louis J. Rubbo*, Shane L. Larson, Michelle B. Larson, Dale R. Ingram

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this article we introduce an activity in which introductory astronomy students act as gravitational wave astronomers by extracting information from simulated gravitational wave signals. The process mimics the way real gravitational wave analysis is handled by using plots of a pure gravitational wave signal. The students measure the properties of the simulated signal and use these measurements to evaluate standard relations for astrophysical source parameters. Although the activity described focuses on circular binaries, the techniques described can be applied to other gravitational wave sources as well. A problem based on the discussion in this paper is available for use in introductory laboratory courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-601
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Physics
Volume75
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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