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

Abbott, B. P. et al. (2016) Directly comparing GW150914 with numerical solutions of Einstein’s equations for binary black hole coalescence. Physical Review D, 94(6), 064035. (doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.94.064035)

Abbott, B. P. et al. (2016) Directly comparing GW150914 with numerical solutions of Einstein’s equations for binary black hole coalescence. Physical Review D, 94(6), 064035. (doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.94.064035)

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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 Mz ∈ ½64 M⊙ − 82 M⊙, mass ratio 1=q ¼ m2=m1 ∈ ½0.6; 1, and effective aligned spin χeff ∈ ½−0.3; 0.2, where χeff ¼ ðS1=m1 þ S2=m2Þ · Lˆ =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 χeff 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 64.0 M⊙ − 73.5 M⊙ and the final black hole’s dimensionless spin parameter is consistent with af ¼ 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 Type:Articles
Keywords:Gravitational waves.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Grant, Mr Alastair and Pascucci, Daniela and Messenger, Dr Christopher and Masso Reid, Ms Mariela and Bell, Dr Angus and Toland, Mr Karl and Hammond, Professor Giles and Hild, Professor Stefan and Barr, Dr Bryan and Sorazu Lucio, Dr Borja and Tokmakov, Dr Kirill and Leavey, Mr Sean and Steinlechner, Dr Jessica and Veitch, Dr John and Tornasi, Mr Zeno and Noor Isa, Miss Hafizah 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 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., Bejger, M., Bell, A. S., Berger, B. K., 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., Boer, M., Bogaert, G., Bogan, C., Bohe, A., 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., Broida, J. E., Brooks, A. F., Brown, D. A., Brown, D. D., Brown, N. M., Brunett, S., Buchanan, C. C., Buikema, A., Bulik, T., Bulten, H. J., Buonanno, A., Buskulic, D., Buy, C., Byer, R. L., Cabero, M., 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., Chamberlin, S. J., Chan, M., Chao, S., Charlton, P., Chassande-Mottin, E., Cheeseboro, B. D., 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, 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. L., D’Antonio, S., Danzmann, K., Darman, N. S., Dasgupta, A., Da Silva Costa, C. F., Dattilo, V., Dave, I., Davier, M., Davies, G. S., Daw, E. 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Subjects:Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Research Group:Institute for Gravitational Research
Journal Name:Physical Review D
Journal Abbr.:Phys. Rev. D
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN:2470-0010
ISSN (Online):2470-0029
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 American Physical Society
First Published:First published in Physical Review D 94(6): 064035
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
569981Proposal for UK Involvement in the Operation of Advanced LIGOKenneth StrainScience & Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)ST/J000019/1P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
624341Investigations in Gravitational Radiation / Particle Astrophysics Capital equipmentSheila RowanScience & Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)ST/L000946/1S&E P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY