Christopher P. Berry

Christopher P. Berry
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Christopher P. Berry

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Pub Categories

General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (15)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (11)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (5)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (4)
Physics - Optics (3)
Physics - Data Analysis; Statistics and Probability (1)
Physics - Instrumentation and Detectors (1)
Statistics - Computation (1)
Statistics - Machine Learning (1)
Statistics - Methodology (1)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (1)

Publications Authored By Christopher P. Berry

Advanced LIGO's recent observations of gravitational waves (GWs) from merging binary black holes have opened up a unique laboratory to test general relativity (GR) in the highly relativistic regime. One of the tests used to establish the consistency of the first LIGO event with a binary black hole merger predicted by GR was the inspiral-merger-ringdown consistency test. This involves inferring the mass and spin of the remnant black hole from the inspiral (low-frequency) part of the observed signal and checking for the consistency of the inferred parameters with the same estimated from the post-inspiral (high-frequency) part of the signal. Read More

One of the key astrophysical sources for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) are the inspirals of stellar-origin compact objects into massive black holes in the centres of galaxies. These extreme-mass-ratio inspirals (EMRIs) have great potential for astrophysics, cosmology and fundamental physics. In this paper we describe the likely numbers and properties of EMRI events that LISA will observe. Read More

The space-based Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) will be able to observe the gravitational-wave signals from systems comprised of a massive black hole and a stellar-mass compact object. These systems are known as extreme-mass-ratio inspirals (EMRIs) and are expected to complete $\sim 10^4-10^5$ cycles in band, thus allowing exquisite measurements of their parameters. In this work, we attempt to quantify the astrophysical uncertainties affecting the predictions for the number of EMRIs detectable by LISA, and find that competing astrophysical assumptions produce a variance of about three orders of magnitude in the expected intrinsic EMRI rate. Read More

Black hole binaries may form both through isolated binary evolution and through dynamical interactions in dense stellar environments. During the formation and evolution of isolated binaries, several processes can alter the orientation of the black hole spin vectors with respect to the binary's orbital angular momentum. A subset of binary black holes merge through the emission of gravitational radiation and are observable with advanced ground-based gravitational-wave detectors. Read More

The inspiral of stellar-mass compact objects, like neutron stars or stellar-mass black holes, into supermassive black holes provides a wealth of information about the strong gravitational-field regime via the emission of gravitational waves. In order to detect and analyse these signals, accurate waveform templates which include the effects of the compact object's gravitational self-force are required. For computational efficiency, adiabatic templates are often used. Read More

Gaussian process regression (GPR) is a non-parametric Bayesian technique for interpolating or fitting data. The main barrier to further uptake of this powerful tool rests in the computational costs associated with the matrices which arise when dealing with large data sets. Here, we derive some simple results which we have found useful for speeding up the learning stage in the GPR algorithm, and especially for performing Bayesian model comparison between different covariance functions. Read More

The coalescences of stellar-mass black-hole binaries through their inspiral, merger, and ringdown are among the most promising sources for ground-based gravitational-wave (GW) detectors. If a GW signal is observed with sufficient signal-to-noise ratio, the masses and spins of the black holes can be estimated from just the inspiral part of the signal. Using these estimates of the initial parameters of the binary, the mass and spin of the final black hole can be uniquely predicted making use of general-relativistic numerical simulations. Read More

Gravitational waves from coalescences of neutron stars or stellar-mass black holes into intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) of $\gtrsim 100$ solar masses represent one of the exciting possible sources for advanced gravitational-wave detectors. These sources can provide definitive evidence for the existence of IMBHs, probe globular-cluster dynamics, and potentially serve as tests of general relativity. We analyse the accuracy with which we can measure the masses and spins of the IMBH and its companion in intermediate-mass ratio coalescences. Read More

Folding uncertainty in theoretical models into Bayesian parameter estimation is necessary in order to make reliable inferences. A general means of achieving this is by marginalizing over model uncertainty using a prior distribution constructed using Gaussian process regression (GPR). As an example, we apply this technique to the measurement of chirp mass using (simulated) gravitational-wave signals from binary black holes that could be observed using advanced-era gravitational-wave detectors. Read More

Inspiraling binary neutron stars are expected to be one of the most significant sources of gravitational-wave signals for the new generation of advanced ground-based detectors. We investigate how well we could hope to measure properties of these binaries using the Advanced LIGO detectors, which began operation in September 2015. We study an astrophysically motivated population of sources (binary components with masses $1. Read More

There has been a significant advancement in terahertz radiation sources in the past decade, making milliwatt terahertz power levels accessible in both continuous-wave and pulsed operation. Such high-power terahertz radiation sources circumvent the need for cryogenic-cooled terahertz detectors such as semiconductor bolometers and necessitate the need for new types of calibrated, room-temperature terahertz detectors. Among various types of room-temperature terahertz detectors, pyroelectric detectors are one of the most widely used detectors, which can offer wide dynamic range, broad detection bandwidth, and high sensitivity levels. Read More

Advanced ground-based gravitational-wave (GW) detectors begin operation imminently. Their intended goal is not only to make the first direct detection of GWs, but also to make inferences about the source systems. Binary neutron-star mergers are among the most promising sources. Read More

There are several common conventions in use by the gravitational-wave community to describe the amplitude of sources and the sensitivity of detectors. These are frequently confused. We outline the merits of and differences between the various quantities used for parameterizing noise curves and characterizing gravitational-wave amplitudes. Read More

Gravitational-wave astronomy seeks to extract information about astrophysical systems from the gravitational-wave signals they emit. For coalescing compact-binary sources this requires accurate model templates for the inspiral and, potentially, the subsequent merger and ringdown. Models with frequency-domain waveforms that terminate abruptly in the sensitive band of the detector are often used for parameter-estimation studies. Read More

Active tuning and switching of electromagnetic properties of materials is of great importance for controlling their interaction with electromagnetic waves. Superconductors are the only natural materials that exhibit diamagnetic switching at their critical temperatures. Here, we demonstrate a new class of meta-surfaces with electrically-induced diamagnetic switching capability at room temperature. Read More

An extreme-mass-ratio burst (EMRB) is a gravitational wave signal emitted when a compact object passes through periapsis on a highly eccentric orbit about a much more massive body, in our case a stellar mass object about the 4.31 \times 10^6 M_sol massive black hole (MBH) in the Galactic Centre. We investigate how EMRBs could constrain the parameters of the Galaxy's MBH. Read More

Even though the terahertz spectrum is well suited for chemical identification, material characterization, biological sensing and medical imaging, practical development of these applications has been hindered by the attributes of terahertz sources, namely low output power and poor efficiency. Here, we demonstrate that use of plasmonic contact electrodes can significantly enhance the optical-to-terahertz conversion efficiency in a photoconductive terahertz emitter. The use of plasmonic contact electrodes offers nanoscale carrier transport path lengths for the photocarriers, enabling efficient collection of the majority of carriers in a sub-picosecond time-scale. Read More

We investigate the linearized form of metric f(R)-gravity, assuming that f(R) is analytic about R = 0 so it may be expanded as f(R) = R + a_2 R^2/2 + ... Read More

We derive an analytic expression for the energy spectrum of gravitational waves from a parabolic Keplerian binary by taking the limit of the Peters and Matthews spectrum for eccentric orbits. This demonstrates that the location of the peak of the energy spectrum depends primarily on the orbital periapse rather than the eccentricity. We compare this weak-field result to strong-field calculations and find it is reasonably accurate (~10%) provided that the azimuthal and radial orbital frequencies do not differ by more than ~10%. Read More