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"Tackling the Challenges of Gravitational-Wave Astronomy", department colloquium January 30, 2012

Kipp Cannon, University of Toronto

Gravitational radiation promises to teach us many new things about the universe and the world around us, but all attempts to observe gravitational waves have so far been unsuccessful.  I will discuss some of the challenges
we need to overcome in our quest to detect this elusive form of energy, and how tackling these challenges is driving collaboration between instrument and observational sciences.  I will show, specifically, how novel data analysis strategies have been used to combat detector noise in searches for gravitational waves from cosmic strings, and how integrating noise hunting tools directly into search pipelines promises to improve our odds of successfully detecting the collisions of neutron stars and other compact astronomical objects, and open a new window on the universe.