Journey of binary black holes: From supercomputers to LIGO to universe
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The detection of gravitational waves from the coalescence of binary black holes has inaugurated the era of gravitational wave astronomy. The mergers of binary black holes in stellar and intermediate mass range will continue to remain one of the most promising astrophysical sources in the current generation and future ground-based gravitational wave experiments, with detection sensitivity up to cosmological distances. This study presents an end-to-end investigation of binary black hole systems in extreme gravity from a theoretical, observational and astrophysical perspective. The theoretical investigations have been conducted by numerically solving the Einstein's Equations on supercomputers; the observational search for the transient burst of gravitational waves was carried in the coincident data from the two Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatories (LIGO), and the astrophysical constraints were applied on the mergers of heavy-stellar and intermediate mass black hole binaries (50 - 600 solar masses). In doing so, the author presents his contributions to the first direct detection of gravitational waves, GW150914 and describe the results from the search for intermediate mass black holes binaries during the inaugural science observation run of Advance LIGO (2015-2016). We also present the Georgia Tech public catalog of numerical relativity simulations of binary black holes and highlight its applications to gravitational wave data analysis, spin-orbit coupling in strong gravity and information visualization to General Relativity. We conclude by narrating the science case of massive binary black holes systems in the next two decades of gravitational wave experiments.