Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis




Neil F Comins

Committee Members

David E Clark, Frank Dudish, Chris Mares, Liping YU

Graduation Year

May 2022

Publication Date

Spring 5-2022


The process of determining parameters of black hole mergers requires complicated formulae like the Einstein Field Equations (EFEs) that can only be solved numerically with the help of supercomputers. This paper sought to explore an alternative method to prediction of parameters through the use of 1st order Post-Newtonian Expansion (PNE), which is a way of approximating solutions to the EFEs. Two binary- black hole mergers, GW170814 and GW170809 were analyzed with the use of 1st order PNE to obtain the chirp mass and radiated energy parameters. These parameters were then compared with the parameters obtained using numerical solutions to the EFEs and it was found that 1st order PNE is insufficient in the case of these two mergers. This does not entirely discount the use of 1st order PNE for prediction, but higher order approximations may yield better predictive results.