Title page for ETD etd-11032009-142431

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Megevand, Miguel
URN etd-11032009-142431
Title Matter Sources Interacting with a Black Hole: Dynamics and Observable Signatures
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Physics & Astronomy
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Pullin, Jorge Committee Chair
Frank, Juhan Committee Member
Gonzalez, Gabriela Committee Member
Hynes, Robert Committee Member
Lehner, Luis R Committee Member
Sage, Daniel S Dean's Representative
  • black hole
  • shocks
  • kicks
  • scalar field
  • galaxy
  • gravitational waves
  • accretion disk
Date of Defense 2009-10-26
Availability unrestricted
Dynamical systems involving black holes are one of the most promising sources of detectable

gravitational waves. Additionally, one expects strong electromagnetic signals whenever matter

sources are present. In this dissertation, we study different astrophysical scenarios pertaining

the interaction of matter with a black hole.

We first investigate the possibility to localize scalar field configurations surrounding a (dynamic)

black hole. The analytical study is illustrated by performing numerical simulations that

show the evolution of a Klein-Gordon-like scalar field shell surrounding a black hole. Second, we

present a method to estimate the gravitational wave frequency at the end of the inspiral phase

of a compact binary. This method is applied to study the possibility of a neutron starís tidal

disruption occurring before plunging into the companion black hole, and to provide a way of improving gravitational wave data analysis when using match filtering techniques. Last, we study

the effects of a black hole merger on a circumbinary disk. We consider separately the effects of central mass reduction (due to the energy loss through gravitational waves) and black hole recoil (due to asymmetric emission of gravitational radiation), presenting possibly detectable electromagnetic signatures.

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