## Institut für Physik und Astronomie

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.

Supermassive black holes are a fundamental component of the universe in general and of galaxies in particular. Almost every massive galaxy harbours a supermassive black hole (SMBH) in its center. Furthermore, there is a close connection between the growth of the SMBH and the evolution of its host galaxy, manifested in the relationship between the mass of the black hole and various properties of the galaxy's spheroid component, like its stellar velocity dispersion, luminosity or mass. Understanding this relationship and the growth of SMBHs is essential for our picture of galaxy formation and evolution. In this thesis, I make several contributions to improve our knowledge on the census of SMBHs and on the coevolution of black holes and galaxies. The first route I follow on this road is to obtain a complete census of the black hole population and its properties. Here, I focus particularly on active black holes, observable as Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) or quasars. These are found in large surveys of the sky. In this thesis, I use one of these surveys, the Hamburg/ESO survey (HES), to study the AGN population in the local volume (z~0). The demographics of AGN are traditionally represented by the AGN luminosity function, the distribution function of AGN at a given luminosity. I determined the local (z<0.3) optical luminosity function of so-called type 1 AGN, based on the broad band B_J magnitudes and AGN broad Halpha emission line luminosities, free of contamination from the host galaxy. I combined this result with fainter data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and constructed the best current optical AGN luminosity function at z~0. The comparison of the luminosity function with higher redshifts supports the current notion of 'AGN downsizing', i.e. the space density of the most luminous AGN peaks at higher redshifts and the space density of less luminous AGN peaks at lower redshifts. However, the AGN luminosity function does not reveal the full picture of active black hole demographics. This requires knowledge of the physical quantities, foremost the black hole mass and the accretion rate of the black hole, and the respective distribution functions, the active black hole mass function and the Eddington ratio distribution function. I developed a method for an unbiased estimate of these two distribution functions, employing a maximum likelihood technique and fully account for the selection function. I used this method to determine the active black hole mass function and the Eddington ratio distribution function for the local universe from the HES. I found a wide intrinsic distribution of black hole accretion rates and black hole masses. The comparison of the local active black hole mass function with the local total black hole mass function reveals evidence for 'AGN downsizing', in the sense that in the local universe the most massive black holes are in a less active stage then lower mass black holes. The second route I follow is a study of redshift evolution in the black hole-galaxy relations. While theoretical models can in general explain the existence of these relations, their redshift evolution puts strong constraints on these models. Observational studies on the black hole-galaxy relations naturally suffer from selection effects. These can potentially bias the conclusions inferred from the observations, if they are not taken into account. I investigated the issue of selection effects on type 1 AGN samples in detail and discuss various sources of bias, e.g. an AGN luminosity bias, an active fraction bias and an AGN evolution bias. If the selection function of the observational sample and the underlying distribution functions are known, it is possible to correct for this bias. I present a fitting method to obtain an unbiased estimate of the intrinsic black hole-galaxy relations from samples that are affected by selection effects. Third, I try to improve our census of dormant black holes and the determination of their masses. One of the most important techniques to determine the black hole mass in quiescent galaxies is via stellar dynamical modeling. This method employs photometric and kinematic observations of the galaxy and infers the gravitational potential from the stellar orbits. This method can reveal the presence of the black hole and give its mass, if the sphere of the black hole's gravitational influence is spatially resolved. However, usually the presence of a dark matter halo is ignored in the dynamical modeling, potentially causing a bias on the determined black hole mass. I ran dynamical models for a sample of 12 galaxies, including a dark matter halo. For galaxies for which the black hole's sphere of influence is not well resolved, I found that the black hole mass is systematically underestimated when the dark matter halo is ignored, while there is almost no effect for galaxies with well resolved sphere of influence.