The projects span several topics in general relativity, gravitational-wave physics, and data analysis. The principal goals are to: (i) compute spin effects at higher post-Newtonian order in the gravitational radiation from compact binaries, and use these results, together with inputs from gravitational self-force calculations, to improve the effective-one-body formalism; (ii) calibrate effective-one-body templates of precessing, spinning, compact binaries to accurate numerical simulations in the comparable and small mass-ratio limits; (iii) implement these effective-one-body templates in LIGO software; and (iv) develop detection strategies for spinning, compact binaries and carry out searches with LIGO data.
Coalescing compact binaries are among the most promising sources of gravitational waves for detectors such as the Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory (LIGO). Templates for detecting non-spinning, merging, compact binaries have been built and used in LIGO searches. The upgrade to the Advanced LIGO configuration has already started and will be completed in 2014-2015, improving the facility's sensitivity by a factor of ten with respect to LIGO, thus increasing the event rates for many astrophysical sources by a factor of one thousand. The research proposed herein seeks to build on these progresses, develop highly refined templates for detecting precessing, spinning compact binaries, thereby extracting the unique physics encoded within the waves that such binaries produce. Thus, the proposed research would enhance the potential of Advanced LIGO's detectors to make important discoveries.