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Scientific inquiry requires that we formulate not only what we know, but also what we do not know and by how much. In climate data analysis, this involves an accurate specification of measured quantities and a consequent analysis that consciously propagates the measurement errors at each step. The dissertation presents a thorough analytical method to quantify errors of measurement inherent in paleoclimate data. An additional focus are the uncertainties in assessing the coupling between different factors that influence the global mean temperature (GMT).
Paleoclimate studies critically rely on `proxy variables' that record climatic signals in natural archives. However, such proxy records inherently involve uncertainties in determining the age of the signal. We present a generic Bayesian approach to analytically determine the proxy record along with its associated uncertainty, resulting in a time-ordered sequence of correlated probability distributions rather than a precise time series. We further develop a recurrence based method to detect dynamical events from the proxy probability distributions. The methods are validated with synthetic examples and
demonstrated with real-world proxy records. The proxy estimation step reveals the interrelations between proxy variability and uncertainty. The recurrence analysis of the East Asian Summer Monsoon during the last 9000 years confirms the well-known `dry' events at 8200 and 4400 BP, plus an additional significantly dry event at 6900 BP.
We also analyze the network of dependencies surrounding GMT. We find an intricate, directed network with multiple links between the different factors at multiple time delays. We further uncover a significant feedback from the GMT to the El Niño Southern Oscillation at quasi-biennial timescales. The analysis highlights the need of a more nuanced formulation of influences between different climatic factors, as well as the limitations in trying to estimate such dependencies.

The H.E.S.S. array is a third generation Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescope (IACT) array. It is located in the Khomas Highland in Namibia, and measures very high energy (VHE) gamma-rays. In Phase I, the array started data taking in 2004 with its four identical 13 m telescopes. Since then, H.E.S.S. has emerged as the most successful IACT experiment to date. Among the almost 150 sources of VHE gamma-ray radiation found so far, even the oldest detection, the Crab Nebula, keeps surprising the scientific community with unexplained phenomena such as the recently discovered very energetic flares of high energy gamma-ray radiation. During its most recent flare, which was detected by the Fermi satellite in March 2013, the Crab Nebula was simultaneously observed with the H.E.S.S. array for six nights. The results of the observations will be discussed in detail during the course of this work. During the nights of the flare, the new 24 m × 32 m H.E.S.S. II telescope was still being commissioned, but participated in the data taking for one night. To be able to reconstruct and analyze the data of the H.E.S.S. Phase II array, the algorithms and software used by the H.E.S.S. Phase I array had to be adapted. The most prominent advanced shower reconstruction technique developed by de Naurois and Rolland, the template-based model analysis, compares real shower images taken by the Cherenkov telescope cameras with shower templates obtained using a semi-analytical model. To find the best fitting image, and, therefore, the relevant parameters that describe the air shower best, a pixel-wise log-likelihood fit is done. The adaptation of this advanced shower reconstruction technique to the heterogeneous H.E.S.S. Phase II array for stereo events (i.e. air showers seen by at least two telescopes of any kind), its performance using MonteCarlo simulations as well as its application to real data will be described.

In the presented thesis, the most advanced photon reconstruction technique of ground-based γ-ray astronomy is adapted to the H.E.S.S. 28 m telescope. The method is based on a semi-analytical model of electromagnetic particle showers in the atmosphere. The properties of cosmic γ-rays are reconstructed by comparing the camera image of the telescope with the Cherenkov emission that is expected from the shower model. To suppress the dominant background from charged cosmic rays, events are selected based on several criteria. The performance of the analysis is evaluated with simulated events. The method is then applied to two sources that are known to emit γ-rays. The first of these is the Crab Nebula, the standard candle of ground-based γ-ray astronomy. The results of this source confirm the expected performance of the reconstruction method, where the much lower energy threshold compared to H.E.S.S. I is of particular importance. A second analysis is performed on the region around the Galactic Centre. The analysis results emphasise the capabilities of the new telescope to measure γ-rays in an energy range that is interesting for both theoretical and experimental astrophysics. The presented analysis features the lowest energy threshold that has ever been reached in ground-based γ-ray astronomy, opening a new window to the precise measurement of the physical properties of time-variable sources at energies of several tens of GeV.

One of the most exciting predictions of Einstein's theory of gravitation that have not yet been proven experimentally by a direct detection are gravitational waves. These are tiny distortions of the spacetime itself, and a world-wide effort to directly measure them for the first time with a network of large-scale laser interferometers is currently ongoing and expected to provide positive results within this decade. One potential source of measurable gravitational waves is the inspiral and merger of two compact objects, such as binary black holes. Successfully finding their signature in the noise-dominated data of the detectors crucially relies on accurate predictions of what we are looking for. In this thesis, we present a detailed study of how the most complete waveform templates can be constructed by combining the results from (A) analytical expansions within the post-Newtonian framework and (B) numerical simulations of the full relativistic dynamics. We analyze various strategies to construct complete hybrid waveforms that consist of a post-Newtonian inspiral part matched to numerical-relativity data. We elaborate on exsisting approaches for nonspinning systems by extending the accessible parameter space and introducing an alternative scheme based in the Fourier domain. Our methods can now be readily applied to multiple spherical-harmonic modes and precessing systems. In addition to that, we analyze in detail the accuracy of hybrid waveforms with the goal to quantify how numerous sources of error in the approximation techniques affect the application of such templates in real gravitational-wave searches. This is of major importance for the future construction of improved models, but also for the correct interpretation of gravitational-wave observations that are made utilizing any complete waveform family. In particular, we comprehensively discuss how long the numerical-relativity contribution to the signal has to be in order to make the resulting hybrids accurate enough, and for currently feasible simulation lengths we assess the physics one can potentially do with template-based searches.

In the present work synchronization phenomena in complex dynamical systems exhibiting multiple time scales have been analyzed. Multiple time scales can be active in different manners. Three different systems have been analyzed with different methods from data analysis. The first system studied is a large heterogenous network of bursting neurons, that is a system with two predominant time scales, the fast firing of action potentials (spikes) and the burst of repetitive spikes followed by a quiescent phase. This system has been integrated numerically and analyzed with methods based on recurrence in phase space. An interesting result are the different transitions to synchrony found in the two distinct time scales. Moreover, an anomalous synchronization effect can be observed in the fast time scale, i.e. there is range of the coupling strength where desynchronization occurs. The second system analyzed, numerically as well as experimentally, is a pair of coupled CO₂ lasers in a chaotic bursting regime. This system is interesting due to its similarity with epidemic models. We explain the bursts by different time scales generated from unstable periodic orbits embedded in the chaotic attractor and perform a synchronization analysis of these different orbits utilizing the continuous wavelet transform. We find a diverse route to synchrony of these different observed time scales. The last system studied is a small network motif of limit cycle oscillators. Precisely, we have studied a hub motif, which serves as elementary building block for scale-free networks, a type of network found in many real world applications. These hubs are of special importance for communication and information transfer in complex networks. Here, a detailed study on the mechanism of synchronization in oscillatory networks with a broad frequency distribution has been carried out. In particular, we find a remote synchronization of nodes in the network which are not directly coupled. We also explain the responsible mechanism and its limitations and constraints. Further we derive an analytic expression for it and show that information transmission in pure phase oscillators, such as the Kuramoto type, is limited. In addition to the numerical and analytic analysis an experiment consisting of electrical circuits has been designed. The obtained results confirm the former findings.

This thesis describes two main projects; the first one is the optimization of a hierarchical search strategy to search for unknown pulsars. This project is divided into two parts; the first part (and the main part) is the semi-coherent hierarchical optimization strategy. The second part is a coherent hierarchical optimization strategy which can be used in a project like Einstein@Home. In both strategies we have found that the 3-stages search is the optimum strategy to search for unknown pulsars. For the second project we have developed a computer software for a coherent Multi-IFO (Interferometer Observatory) search. To validate our software, we have worked on simulated data as well as hardware injected signals of pulsars in the fourth LIGO science run (S4). While with the current sensitivity of our detectors we do not expect to detect any true Gravitational Wave signals in our data, we can still set upper limits on the strength of the gravitational waves signals. These upper limits, in fact, tell us how weak a signal strength we would detect. We have also used our software to set upper limits on the signal strength of known isolated pulsars using LIGO fifth science run (S5) data.

Recurrence plots, a rather promising tool of data analysis, have been introduced by Eckman et al. in 1987. They visualise recurrences in phase space and give an overview about the system's dynamics. Two features have made the method rather popular. Firstly they are rather simple to compute and secondly they are putatively easy to interpret. However, the straightforward interpretation of recurrence plots for some systems yields rather surprising results. For example indications of low dimensional chaos have been reported for stock marked data, based on recurrence plots. In this work we exploit recurrences or ``naturally occurring analogues'' as they were termed by E. Lorenz, to obtain three key results. One of which is that the most striking structures which are found in recurrence plots are hinged to the correlation entropy and the correlation dimension of the underlying system. Even though an eventual embedding changes the structures in recurrence plots considerably these dynamical invariants can be estimated independently of the special parameters used for the computation. The second key result is that the attractor can be reconstructed from the recurrence plot. This means that it contains all topological information of the system under question in the limit of long time series. The graphical representation of the recurrences can also help to develop new algorithms and exploit specific structures. This feature has helped to obtain the third key result of this study. Based on recurrences to points which have the same ``recurrence structure'', it is possible to generate surrogates of the system which capture all relevant dynamical characteristics, such as entropies, dimensions and characteristic frequencies of the system. These so generated surrogates are shadowed by a trajectory of the system which starts at different initial conditions than the time series in question. They can be used then to test for complex synchronisation.