Core-collapse supernovae (CCSNe) are among the most energetic explosions in the universe, liberating the prodigious amount of ~ 1053 erg, the binding energy of their compact remnants, neutron stars or stellar mass black holes. While 99% of this energy is emitted in neutrinos, 1% goes into the internal and asymptotic kinetic energy of the ejecta, and it is reasonable to assume that a tiny fraction is radiated in gravitational waves (GWs). Ever since the first experimental efforts to detect GWs, CCSNe have been considered prime sources of gravitational waves for interferometric detectors. Besides neutrinos, which have already been observed in the context of stellar core collapse of SN1987A, GWs could provide us access to the electromagnetically hidden compact inner core of some such cataclysmic events, supplying us for example with valuable information about the angular momentum distribution and the baryonic equation of state, both of which are uncertain. Furthermore, they might even help to constrain theoretically predicted SN mechanisms. However, GW astronomy strongly depends on the extensive data processing of the detector output on the basis of reliable GW estimates, which only recently have become feasible with the emerging power of supercomputers. The work presented in this thesis is concerned with numerical CCSN models and their imprints in GWs. I performed an extensive series of more than 30 three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamical (MHD) core-collapse simulations. My models are based on a 15M [...] progenitor stemming from stellar evolution calculations, an effective general relativistic potential and either the Lattimer-Swesty (with three possible compressibilities) or the Shen equation of state (EoS) for hot, dense matter. Furthermore, the neutrino transport is tracked by computationally efficient algorithms for the radiative transfer of massless fermions. I systematically investigated the effects of the microphysical finite-temperature nuclear EoS, the initial rotation rate, both the toroidal and the poloidal magnetic fields, and multidimensional gravitational potentials on the GW signature. Based on the results of these calculations, I obtained the largest – and also one of the most realistic – catalogue of GW signatures from 3D MHD stellar core collapse simulations at present. I stress the importance of including postbounce neutrino physics, since it quantitatively alters the GW signature. Non- and slowly-rotating models show GW emission caused by prompt and protoneutron star (PNS) convection. Moreover, the signal stemming from prompt convection allows for the distinction between the two different nuclear EoS indirectly by different properties of the fluid instabilities. For simulations with moderate or even fast rotation rates, I only find the axisymmetric type I wave signature at core bounce. In line with recent results, I could confirm that the maximum GW amplitude scales roughly linearly with the ratio of rotational to gravitational energy (T/|W|) at core bounce below a threshold value of about 10%. Furthermore, I point out that PNS can become dynamically unstable to rotational instabilities at T/|W| values as low as ~ 2% at core bounce. Apart from these two points, I show that it is generally very difficult to discern the effects of the individual features of the input physics in a GW signal from a rotating CCSN that can be attributed unambiguously to a specific model. Weak magnetic fields do not notably influence the dynamical evolution of the core and thus the GW emission. However, for strong initial poloidal magnetic fields ≥ 1012G, the combined action of flux-freezing and field winding leads to conditions where the ratio of magnetic field pressure to matter pressure reaches about unity which leads to the onset of a jet-like supernova explosion. The collimated bipolar out-stream of matter is then reflected in the emission of a type IV GW signal. In contradiction to axisymmetric simulations, I find evidence that nonaxisymmetric fluid modes can counteract or even suppress jet formation for models with strong initial toroidal magnetic fields. I emphasize the importance of including multidimensional gravitational potentials in rapidly rotating 3D CCSN simulations: taking them into account can alter the resulting GW amplitudes up to a factor of 2 compared to simulations which encounter gravity only by a monopolar approximation. Moreover, I show that the postbounce dynamics occuring in the outer layers (at radii R ≥ 200km) of models run with 3D gravity deviates vastly from the ones run with a 1D or 2D gravitational potential. The latter finding implies that both spherically symmetric and axisymmetric treatments of gravity are too restrictive for a quantitative description of the overall postbounce evolution of rapidly rotating CCSN models. The results of models with continued neutrino emission show that including deleptonization during the postbounce phase is an indispensable issue for the quantitative prediction of GWs from core-collapse supernovae, because it can alter the GW amplitude up to a factor of 10 compared to a pure hydrodynamical treatment. My collapse simulations indicate that corresponding events in our Galaxy would be detectable either by LIGO, if the source is rotating, or at least by the advanced LIGO detector, if it is not or only slowly rotating.

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