The rate of binary black hole mergers inferred from advanced LIGO observations surrounding GW150914

Abbott, B. P. et al. (2016) The rate of binary black hole mergers inferred from advanced LIGO observations surrounding GW150914. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 833(1), L1. (doi:10.3847/2041-8205/833/1/L1)

Abbott, B. P. et al. (2016) The rate of binary black hole mergers inferred from advanced LIGO observations surrounding GW150914. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 833(1), L1. (doi:10.3847/2041-8205/833/1/L1)

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Abstract

A transient gravitational-wave signal, GW150914, was identified in the twin Advanced LIGO detectors on 2015 September 2015 at 09:50:45 UTC. To assess the implications of this discovery, the detectors remained in operation with unchanged configurations over a period of 39 days around the time of the signal. At the detection statistic threshold corresponding to that observed for GW150914, our search of the 16 days of simultaneous two-detector observational data is estimated to have a false-alarm rate (FAR) of \lt 4.9× {10}-6 {{yr}}-1, yielding a p-value for GW150914 of \lt 2× {10}-7. Parameter estimation follow-up on this trigger identifies its source as a binary black hole (BBH) merger with component masses ({m}1,{m}2)=({36}-4+5,{29}-4+4) {M}⊙ at redshift z={0.09}-0.04+0.03 (median and 90% credible range). Here, we report on the constraints these observations place on the rate of BBH coalescences. Considering only GW150914, assuming that all BBHs in the universe have the same masses and spins as this event, imposing a search FAR threshold of 1 per 100 years, and assuming that the BBH merger rate is constant in the comoving frame, we infer a 90% credible range of merger rates between 2{--}53 {{Gpc}}-3 {{yr}}-1 (comoving frame). Incorporating all search triggers that pass a much lower threshold while accounting for the uncertainty in the astrophysical origin of each trigger, we estimate a higher rate, ranging from 13{--}600 {{Gpc}}-3 {{yr}}-1 depending on assumptions about the BBH mass distribution. All together, our various rate estimates fall in the conservative range 2{--}600 {{Gpc}}-3 {{yr}}-1.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Grant, Mr Alastair 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 Leavey, Mr Sean and Steinlechner, Dr Jessica and Veitch, Dr John and Phelps, Ms Margot and Heng, Professor Ik Siong and Wright, Ms Jennifer and van Veggel, Dr Anna-Maria and Houston, Mr Ewan and Newton, Dr Gavin and Pearlstone, Mr Brynley and Hendry, Professor Martin and Douglas, Miss Rebecca and Scott, Dr Jamie and Danilishin, Dr Shtefan 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 William 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
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., 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. B., 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:IOP Publishing
ISSN:2041-8205
ISSN (Online):2041-8213
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The American Astronomical Society
First Published:First published in Astrophysical Journal Letters 833(1):L1
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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