Astrophysical implications of the binary black hole merger GW150914

Abbott, B. P. et al. (2016) Astrophysical implications of the binary black hole merger GW150914. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 818(2), L22. (doi:10.3847/2041-8205/818/2/L22)

Abbott, B. P. et al. (2016) Astrophysical implications of the binary black hole merger GW150914. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 818(2), L22. (doi:10.3847/2041-8205/818/2/L22)

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Abstract

The discovery of the gravitational-wave (GW) source GW150914 with the Advanced LIGO detectors provides the first observational evidence for the existence of binary black hole (BH) systems that inspiral and merge within the age of the universe. Such BH mergers have been predicted in two main types of formation models, involving isolated binaries in galactic fields or dynamical interactions in young and old dense stellar environments. The measured masses robustly demonstrate that relatively "heavy" BHs ( ) can form in nature. This discovery implies relatively weak massive-star winds and thus the formation of GW150914 in an environment with a metallicity lower than about 1/2 of the solar value. The rate of binary-BH (BBH) mergers inferred from the observation of GW150914 is consistent with the higher end of rate predictions ( Gpc−3 yr−1) from both types of formation models. The low measured redshift () of GW150914 and the low inferred metallicity of the stellar progenitor imply either BBH formation in a low-mass galaxy in the local universe and a prompt merger, or formation at high redshift with a time delay between formation and merger of several Gyr. This discovery motivates further studies of binary-BH formation astrophysics. It also has implications for future detections and studies by Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo, and GW detectors in space.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Grant, Mr Alastair and Bell, Mr Christopher and Pascucci, Daniela and Messenger, Dr Christopher and Bell, Dr Angus and Hammond, Professor Giles and Hild, Professor Stefan and Barr, Dr Bryan and Sorazu Lucio, Dr Borja and Craig, Mr Kieran and Leavey, Mr Sean and Steinlechner, Dr Jessica and Logue, Mr Joshua and Veitch, Dr John and Phelps, Ms Margot and Heng, Professor Ik Siong and Wright, Ms Jennifer and van Veggel, Dr Marielle and Houston, Mr Ewan and Newton, Dr Gavin and Davies, Mr Gareth and Hu, Mr Yiming and Graef, Dr Christian and Pearlstone, Mr Brynley and Hendry, Professor Martin and Douglas, Miss Rebecca and Scott, Dr Jamie and Danilishin, Dr Stefan and Rowan, Professor Sheila and Martin, Dr Iain and Robertson, Professor Norna and Chan, Mr Man Leong and Robie, Mr Raymond and Cumming, Dr Alan and Gordon, Mr Neil and Hennig, Mr Jan-Simon and Cunningham, Dr Liam and Barclay, Miss Sheena and Powell, Miss Jade and Woan, Professor Graham and Steinlechner, Dr Sebastian and Mangano, Miss Valentina and Hough, Professor James and Lee, Kyung Ha and Huttner, Dr Sabina and Strain, Professor Kenneth and Jones, Mr Russell and Haughian, Dr Karen and Pitkin, Dr Matthew and Murray, Dr Peter and Fletcher, Mr Mark
Authors: Abbott, B. P., Abbott, R., Abbott, T. D., Abernathy, M. R., Acernese, F., Ackley, K., Adams, C., Adams, T., Addesso, P., Adhikari, R. X., Adya, V. B., Affeldt, C., Agathos, M., Agatsuma, K., Aggarwal, N., Aguiar, O. D., Aiello, L., Ain, A., Ajith, P., Allen, B., Allocca, A., Altin, P. A., Anderson, S. B., Anderson, W. G., Arai, K., Araya, M. C., Arceneaux, C. C., Areeda, J. S., Arnaud, N., Arun, K. G., Ascenzi, S., Ashton, G., Ast, M., Aston, S. M., Astone, P., Aufmuth, P., Aulbert, C., Babak, S., Bacon, P., Bader, M. K. M., Baker, P. T., Baldaccini, F., Ballardin, G., Ballmer, S. W., Barayoga, J. C., Barclay, S. E., Barish, B. C., Barker, D., Barone, F., Barr, B., Barsotti, L., Barsuglia, M., Barta, D., Bartlett, J., Bartos, I., Bassiri, R., Basti, A., Batch, J. C., Baune, C., Bavigadda, V., Bazzan, M., Behnke, B., Bejger, M., Belczynski, C., Bell, A.S., Bell, C. J., Berger, B. K., Bergman, J., Bergmann, G., Berry, C. P. L., Bersanetti, D., Bertolini, A., Betzwieser, J., Bhagwat, S., Bhandare, R., Bilenko, I. A., Billingsley, G., Birch, J., Birney, R., Biscans, S., Bisht, A., Bitossi, M., Biwer, C., Bizouard, M. A., Blackburn, J. K., Blair, C. D., Blair, D. G., Blair, R. M., Bloemen, S., Bock, O., Bodiya, T. P., Boer, M., Bogaert, G., Bogan, C., Bohe, A., Bojtos, P., Bond, C., Bondu, F., Bonnand, R., Boom, B. A., Bork, R., Boschi, V., Bose, S., Bouffanais, Y., Bozzi, A., Bradaschia, C., Brady, P. R., Braginsky, V. B., Branchesi, M., Brau, J. E., Briant, T., Brillet, A., Brinkmann, M., Brisson, V., Brockill, P., Brooks, A. F., Brown, D. A., Brown, D. D., Brown, N. M., Buchanan, C. C., Buikema, A., Bulik, T., Bulten, H. J., Buonanno, A., Buskulic, D., Buy, C., Byer, R. L., Cadonati, L., Cagnoli, G., Cahillane, C., Calderón Bustillo, J., Callister, T., Calloni, E., Camp, J. B., Cannon, K. C., Cao, J., Capano, C. D., Capocasa, E., Carbognani, F., Caride, S., Casanueva Diaz, J., Casentini, C., Caudill, S., Cavaglià, M., Cavalier, F., Cavalieri, R., Cella, G., Cepeda, C., Cerboni Baiardi, L., Cerretani, G., Cesarini, E., Chakraborty, R., Chalermsongsak, T., Chamberlin, S. J., Chan, M., Chao, S., Charlton, P., Chassande-Mottin, E., Chen, H. Y., Chen, Y., Cheng, C., Chincarini, A., Chiummo, A., Cho, H. S., Cho, M., Chow, J. H., Christensen, N., Chu, Q., Chua, S., Chung, S., Ciani, G., Clara, F., Clark, J. A., Cleva, F., Coccia, E., Cohadon, P.-F., Colla, A., Collette, C. G., Cominsky, L., Constancio Jr., M., Conte, A., Conti, L., Cook, D., Corbitt, T. R., Cornish, N., Corsi, A., Cortese, S., Costa, C. A., Coughlin, M. W., Coughlin, S. B., Coulon, J.-P., Countryman, S. T., Couvares, P., Cowan, E. E., Coward, D. M., Cowart, M. J., Coyne, D. C., Coyne, R., Craig, K., Creighton, J. D. E., Cripe, J., Crowder, S. G., Cumming, A., Cunningham, L., Cuoco, E., Dal Canton, T., Danilishin, S. 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College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Astrophysical Journal Letters
Publisher:American Astronomical Society
ISSN:2041-8205
ISSN (Online):2041-8213
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The American Astronomical Society
First Published:First published in Astrophysical Journal Letters 818(2): L22
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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