All Physics Faculty Publications

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

The American Journal of Physics

Volume

75

Issue

7

Publisher

American Association of Physics Teachers

Publication Date

2007

First Page

597

Last Page

601

DOI

10.1119/1.2721587

Abstract

In this article we introduce an activity in which introductory astronomy students act as gravitational wave astronomers by extracting information from simulated gravitational wave signals. The process mimics the way real gravitational wave analysis is handled by using plots of a pure gravitational wave signal. The students measure the properties of the simulated signal and use these measurements to evaluate standard relations for astrophysical source parameters. Although the activity described focuses on circular binaries, the techniques described can be applied to other gravitational wave sources as well. A problem based on the discussion in this paper is available for use in introductory laboratory courses.

Comments

Originally published by the American Association of Physics Teachers. HTML fulltext can be accessed through the American Journal of Physics. Note: At time of publication, Shane Larson was affiliated with the Department of Physics at Weber State University.

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