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**UNC-CH Physics and Astronomy Thesis Proposal Presentation**

Christopher Munna

**“Eccentric orbit binary black hole inspirals: Informing the post-Newtonian expansion through black hole perturbation theory and multipole moment computation”**

With the first definitive signals from LIGO, the era of gravitational wave astronomy has arrived. As a result, we now have the opportunity to observe features of the universe previously hidden from human view. In order to detect waves, precise knowledge of astrophysical behavior under general relativity must be known. To that end, my proposal will present new results on the dynamics of binary black hole inspirals. In it I combine two common approaches – black hole perturbation theory (BHPT) and post-Newtonian (PN) theory – in novel ways to obtain information on the evolution of two-body systems. In particular, I focus on the difficult categories of extreme mass ratio inspirals (EMRIs) and eccentric inspirals, which are presently underdeveloped. This process involves the construction of new mathematical and computational tools to handle the equations of general relativity, and it will result in more precise descriptions of the gravitational radiation and orbital motion. In this manner, we have the opportunity to find new structure in the BHPT and PN formalisms as a whole. This research will contribute to the analysis of waveform data obtained by LISA, the space-based gravitational wave detector, successor to LIGO, scheduled for launch in 2034.