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Binary black hole population properties inferred from the first and second observing runs of advanced LIGO and advanced Virgo


Siellez, K and The LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration, Binary black hole population properties inferred from the first and second observing runs of advanced LIGO and advanced Virgo, The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 882, (2) Article L24. ISSN 2041-8205 (2019) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.3847/2041-8213/ab3800


We present results on the mass, spin, and redshift distributions with phenomenological population models using the 10 binary black hole (BBH) mergers detected in the first and second observing runs completed by Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo. We constrain properties of the BBH mass spectrum using models with a range of parameterizations of the BBH mass and spin distributions. We find that the mass distribution of the more massive BH in such binaries is well approximated by models with no more than 1% of BHs more massive than 45 ${M}_{\odot }$ and a power-law index of α = ${1.3}_{-1.7}^{+1.4}$ (90% credibility). We also show that BBHs are unlikely to be composed of BHs with large spins aligned to the orbital angular momentum. Modeling the evolution of the BBH merger rate with redshift, we show that it is flat or increasing with redshift with 93% probability. Marginalizing over uncertainties in the BBH population, we find robust estimates of the BBH merger rate density of R = ${53.2}_{-28.2}^{+55.8}$ Gpc−3 yr−1 (90% credibility). As the BBH catalog grows in future observing runs, we expect that uncertainties in the population model parameters will shrink, potentially providing insights into the formation of BHs via supernovae, binary interactions of massive stars, stellar cluster dynamics, and the formation history of BHs across cosmic time.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:black holes, gravitational waves, statistical
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Astronomical sciences
Research Field:General relativity and gravitational waves
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Siellez, K (Dr Karelle Siellez)
ID Code:151004
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:364
Deposited By:Physics
Deposited On:2022-07-11
Last Modified:2022-07-11

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