I'm a PhD student with the Gravity Exploration Institute studying the gravitational waves produced when two black holes orbit and merge. We simulate this on fancy supercomputers and look at the signal these waves would produce in a detector.
Different research groups around the world use different codes to perform these simulations, so at the moment I'm working to see how well they agree. After all, if two groups using two codes simulate exactly the same black holes but get completely different gravitational wave signals then there's a bit of a problem. If this difference turns out to be significant it could affect our confidence in detections as well as throw off the inferred properties of the black holes.
I'm also trying to get our code to be able to simulate high mass ratio black hole binaries. This is an urgent unsolved problem in the field that needs to be sorted if we want to look for these systems out in the universe.
- Gravitational wave modelling
- Numerical relativity