skip to main content

LIGO Seminar

Tuesday, February 2, 2016
1:00pm to 2:00pm
Add to Cal
West Bridge 351 (LIGO Science Conference Room)
Inference on gravitational waves from coalescences of stellar-mass compact objects and intermediate-mass black holes: an outlook of the current and future state of CBC parameter estimation
Carl-Johan Haster, Physics, Birmingham,

Gravitational waves from coalescences of neutron stars or stellar-mass black holes into intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) of $\gtrsim 100$ solar masses represent one of the exciting possible sources for advancedgravitational-wave detectors. These sources can provide definitive evidence for the existence of IMBHs, probe globular-cluster dynamics, and potentially serve as tests of general relativity. We analyse the accuracy with which we can measure the masses and spins of the IMBH and its companion in intermediate-mass ratio coalescences. We find that we canidentify an IMBH with a mass above $100 ~ M_\odot$ with $95\%$ confidence provided the massive body exceeds $130 ~ M_\odot$. For source masses above $\sim200 ~ M_\odot$, the best measured parameter is the frequency of thequasi-normal ringdown. Consequently, the total mass is measured better than the chirp mass for massive binaries, but the total mass is still partly degenerate with spin, which cannot be accurately measured. Low-frequency detector sensitivity is particularly important for massive sources, since sensitivity to the inspiral phase is critical for measuring the mass of the stellar-mass companion. We show that we can accurately infer source parameters for cosmologically redshifted signals by applying appropriate corrections. We investigate the impact of uncertainty in the model gravitational waveforms and conclude that our main results are likely robust to systematics. These sources highlight many of the strengths of parameter estimation on compact binary coalescences, in both its ability to provide robust inference on the source parameters as well as the computational effort required to do so. This study also presents opportunities for future improvement, enabling new avenues of unexplored physics and analysis methods.


We plan to broadcast these talks using TeamSpeak. Use a sub-channel of

LIGO Lab called "LIGO Seminar", which is not password protected.

For more information, please contact Sydney Meshkov by email at [email protected].