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Debatri Chattopadhyay

I work on simulating star clusters, looking for black hole and millisecond pulsar binaries in them, their evolution and mergers - which generates gravitational waves. Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity predicted almost a century ago, that accelerating masses send ripples through the fabric of space-time, that propagates like a wave with the velocity of light, famously called "Gravitational Waves". The technological advancement has enabled us to detect these waves created by gravitational interactions and mergers of heavy two body systems, and the 2017 Nobel prize in Physics was awarded to for the detection of it. As a part of OzGrav: The ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery, I look for interesting binary systems and their subsequent merger, which may emit detectable gravitational waves. Star clusters are dense environments which make them the birthplaces and collision hubs for these heavy mass binary systems. These higher mass binaries produce gravitational waves that LIGO and VIRGO can detect and thus, they are interesting members to study in the extreme, dense environment of globular clusters, where dynamical events and collisions are a common occurrence. I also plan to theoretically compute binary evolution and subsequent mergers of black holes and neutron stars by population synthesis. Simulations now run on the Green II: gSTAR and SwinSTAR supercomputer, and in future, will be running on the new OzSTAR supercomputer, currently under installation at Swinburne. Starting my PhD in this new era of astrophysics is really exciting for me, and the future of gravitational waves seems to be limitless. Guiding me through this quest of knowledge are my supervisors Dr. Jarrod Hurley and Dr. Matthew Bailes.

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