Date of Award

May 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Patrick R Brady

Committee Members

David L Kaplan, Jolien DE Creighton, John L Friedman, Daniel F Agterberg


Black holes, Gamma-ray Burst, Gravitational waves, Multi-messenger astronomy, Neutron stars, Supernovae


Gravitational waves (GWs) provide a unique view of the universe. They directly probe the extreme gravity and extreme matter of compact objects like black holes (BHs) and neutron stars (NSs) which is not always possible from traditional electromagnetic (EM) wave astronomy. The cataclysmic coalescence of compact object binaries is one of the loudest individual sources of GWs that can be detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory (LIGO) and the Virgo Observatory. If one of the component is a NS, there is a possibility that the merger is bright in the EM spectrum. The relativistic astrophysics could launch a short gamma-ray burst, the radioactivity in the neutron rich ejecta could power a rapidly decaying optical transient called a kilonova. Hence, it is possible to jointly observe the same source via multiple messengers. It is this prospect of multi-messenger astronomy using GWs that is of great interest due to the rich science that can be extracted from such joint observations. In this thesis, I present the details of my work with the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration in the context of multi-messenger astronomy. I also report my work on the time-domain astronomy front in the development of an observing strategy for the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF), and characterizing the detection efficiency of the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF).