BHI Colloquium


Tuesday, May 11, 2021, 1:30pm to 2:30pm


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Ollie Burke (Physics) - Max Planck Institute

Title: Constraining the spin parameter of near-extremal black holes using LISA

Abstract: It has been shown in the past that extreme mass ratio inspirals (EMRIs), where the central hole is near-extremal, exhibit qualitatively different features in the end part of the inspiral. Indeed, as the smaller body approaches the inner-most stable circular orbit (ISCO), the resultant waves show a unique characteristic dampening effect that is a consequence of the near-horizon geometry of the near-extremal hole. My goal at this colloquium is to convince you that, if such sources are observed, one would be able to constrain the near-extremal spin parameter with exceptional precision. A precision approximately two or three orders of magnitude tighter than for moderately spinning holes with spin parameters a ~ 0.9M. These precision measurements can only be obtained only if the characteristic dampening feature of the hole is observed. The results presented here show that LISA will be able to successfully identify near extremal holes with spin parameters up to a = 0.999 999 999M, far past the thorne limit of a = 0.998M. 

Bio: Ollie Burke re-derived the Kerr metric by hand to earn his masters at The University of Edinburgh in 2016. At the same university, he started a PhD programme in statistics with supervisor Prof. Dr. Jonathan Gair on the topic of gravitational waves. After two years, he moved with his supervisor to the Max Planck Institute for gravitational physics in Potsdam, Germany, where he is now in his final year of his PhD. Ollie has worked on a number of projects concerning both data analysis and science for the space based interferometer LISA. Ollie has broad interests, varying from the analysis of multiple gravitational wave signals simultaneously, the effect data gaps have on parameter estimation studies and systematic studies of waveform templates for extreme-mass ratio inspiral waveforms. He also has a keen interest on the science and data analysis prospects of near-extremal EMRIs as a potential source for the LISA space-craft. 

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See also: Physics