Quantum black hole spectroscopy: probing the quantum nature of the black hole area using LIGO-Virgo ringdown detections

Laghi, D., Carullo, G., Veitch, J. and Del Pozzo, W. (2021) Quantum black hole spectroscopy: probing the quantum nature of the black hole area using LIGO-Virgo ringdown detections. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 38, 095005. (doi: 10.1088/1361-6382/abde19)

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We present a thorough observational investigation of the heuristic quantised ringdown model presented in [FOIT-KLEBAN (2019)]. This model is based on the Bekenstein-Mukhanov conjecture, stating that the area of a black hole horizon is an integer multiple of the Planck area~$l_P^2$ multiplied by a phenomenological constant, α, which can be viewed as an additional black hole intrinsic parameter. Our approach is based on a time-domain analysis of the gravitational wave signals produced by the ringdown phase of binary black hole mergers detected by the LIGO and Virgo collaboration. Employing a full Bayesian formalism and taking into account the complete correlation structure among the black hole parameters, we show that the value of α cannot be constrained using only GW150914, in contrast to what was suggested in [FOIT-KLEBAN (2019)]. We proceed to repeat the same analysis on the new gravitational wave events detected by the LIGO and Virgo Collaboration up to 1 October 2019, obtaining a combined-event measure equal to $α = 15.6^{+20.5}_{-13.3}$ and a combined log odds ratio of $0.1 \pm 0.6$, implying that current data are not informative enough to favour or discard this model against general relativity. We then show that using a population of $\mathcal{O}(20)$ GW150914-like simulated events -- detected by the current infrastructure of ground-based detectors at their design sensitivity -- it is possible to confidently falsify the quantised model or prove its validity, in which case probing α at the few % level. Finally we classify the stealth biases that may show up in a population study.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:JV was partially supported by STFC grant ST/K005014/2. This research has made use of data, software and/or web tools obtained from the Gravitational Wave Open Science Center (https://www.gw-openscience.org), a service of LIGO Laboratory, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration. LIGO is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation. Virgo is funded by the French Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN) and the Dutch Nikhef, with contributions by Polish and Hungarian institutes.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Veitch, Dr John
Authors: Laghi, D., Carullo, G., Veitch, J., and Del Pozzo, W.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Classical and Quantum Gravity
Publisher:IOP Publishing
ISSN (Online):1361-6382
Published Online:20 January 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 IOP Publishing
First Published:First published in Classical and Quantum Gravity 38:095005
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
301152Surveying black holes and neutron stars with gravitational wavesJohn VeitchScience and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/K005014/2P&S - Physics & Astronomy