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Tests of General Relativity with GW150914

Citation

Abbott, BP and Abbott, R and Siellez, K and Zweizig, J, LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations, Tests of General Relativity with GW150914, Physical Review Letters, 116, (22) Article 221101. ISSN 0031-9007 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© 2016 American Physical Society.

DOI: doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.221101

Abstract

The LIGO detection of GW150914 provides an unprecedented opportunity to study the two-body motion of a compact-object binary in the large-velocity, highly nonlinear regime, and to witness the final merger of the binary and the excitation of uniquely relativistic modes of the gravitational field. We carry out several investigations to determine whether GW150914 is consistent with a binary black-hole merger in general relativity. We find that the final remnantís mass and spin, as determined from the low-frequency (inspiral) and high-frequency (postinspiral) phases of the signal, are mutually consistent with the binary black-hole solution in general relativity. Furthermore, the data following the peak of GW150914 are consistent with the least-damped quasinormal mode inferred from the mass and spin of the remnant black hole. By using waveform models that allow for parametrized general-relativity violations during the inspiral and merger phases, we perform quantitative tests on the gravitational-wave phase in the dynamical regime and we determine the first empirical bounds on several high-order post-Newtonian coefficients. We constrain the graviton Compton wavelength, assuming that gravitons are dispersed in vacuum in the same way as particles with mass, obtaining a 90%-confidence lower bound of 1013†km. In conclusion, within our statistical uncertainties, we find no evidence for violations of general relativity in the genuinely strong-field regime of gravity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:GW150914, general relativity, gravitational waves
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:152183
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:539
Deposited By:Physics
Deposited On:2022-08-12
Last Modified:2022-09-28
Downloads:0

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