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Directly comparing GW150914 with numerical solutions of Einstein's equations for binary black hole coalescence

Citation

Abbott, BP and Abbott, R and Siellez, K, LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration, Directly comparing GW150914 with numerical solutions of Einstein's equations for binary black hole coalescence, Physical Review D: covering particles, fields, gravitation, and cosmology, 94, (6) Article 064035. ISSN 2470-0010 (2016) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

2016 American Physical Society. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. Must link to published article.

DOI: doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.94.064035

Abstract

We compare GW150914 directly to simulations of coalescing binary black holes in full general relativity, including several performed specifically to reproduce this event. Our calculations go beyond existing semianalytic models, because for all simulations-including sources with two independent, precessing spins-we perform comparisons which account for all the spin-weighted quadrupolar modes, and separately which account for all the quadrupolar and octopolar modes. Consistent with the posterior distributions reported by Abbott et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 241102 (2016)] (at the 90% credible level), we find the data are compatible with a wide range of nonprecessing and precessing simulations. Follow-up simulations performed using previously estimated binary parameters most resemble the data, even when all quadrupolar and octopolar modes are included.Comparisons including only the quadrupolar modes constrain the total redshifted mass MzE[64MO-82MO], mass ratio 1/q = m2/m1E[0.6,1], and effective aligned spin XeffE[-0.3,0.2], where Xeff=(S1/m1+S2/m2)L/M. Including both quadrupolar and octopolar modes, we find the mass ratio is even more tightly constrained. Even accounting for precession, simulations with extreme mass ratios and effective spins are highly inconsistent with the data, at any mass. Several nonprecessing and precessing simulations with similar mass ratio and Xeff are consistent with the data. Though correlated, the components' spins (both in magnitude and directions) are not significantly constrained by the data: the data is consistent with simulations with component spin magnitudes a1,2 up to at least 0.8, with random orientations. Further detailed follow-up calculations are needed to determine if the data contain a weak imprint from transverse (precessing) spins. For nonprecessing binaries, interpolating between simulations, we reconstruct a posterior distribution consistent with previous results. The final black hole's redshifted mass is consistent with Mf,z in the range 64.0MO-73.5MO and the final black hole's dimensionless spin parameter is consistent with af=0.62-0.73. As our approach invokes no intermediate approximations to general relativity and can strongly reject binaries whose radiation is inconsistent with the data, our analysis provides a valuable complement to Abbott et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 241102 (2016)].

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:black hole coalescence, binary black holes, gravitational waves, GW150914
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:152159
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:79
Deposited By:Physics
Deposited On:2022-08-12
Last Modified:2022-09-26
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