Cosmological inference using gravitational wave standard sirens: a mock data analysis

Gray, R. et al. (2020) Cosmological inference using gravitational wave standard sirens: a mock data analysis. Physical Review D, 101(12), 122001. (doi: 10.1103/PhysRevD.101.122001)

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The observation of binary neutron star merger GW170817, along with its optical counterpart, provided the first constraint on the Hubble constant H 0 using gravitational wave standard sirens. When no counterpart is identified, a galaxy catalog can be used to provide the necessary redshift information. However, the true host might not be contained in a catalog which is not complete out to the limit of gravitational-wave detectability. These electromagnetic and gravitational-wave selection effects must be accounted for. We describe and implement a method to estimate H 0 using both the counterpart and the galaxy catalog standard siren methods. We perform a series of mock data analyses using binary neutron star mergers to confirm our ability to recover an unbiased estimate of H 0 . Our simulations used a simplified universe with no redshift uncertainties or galaxy clustering, but with different magnitude-limited catalogs and assumed host galaxy properties, to test our treatment of both selection effects. We explore how the incompleteness of catalogs affects the final measurement of H 0 , as well as the effect of weighting each galaxy’s likelihood of being a host by its luminosity. In our most realistic simulation, where the simulated catalog is about three times denser than the density of galaxies in the local universe, we find that a 4.4% measurement precision can be reached using galaxy catalogs with 50% completeness and ∼ 250 binary neutron star detections with sensitivity similar to that of Advanced LIGO’s second observing run.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Messenger, Dr Christopher and Veitch, Dr John and Gair, Dr Jonathan and Gray, Ms Rachel
Authors: Gray, R., Hernandez, I. M., Qi, H., Sur, A., Brady, P. R., Chen, H.-Y., Farr, W. M., Fishbach, M., Gair, J. R., Ghosh, A., Holz, D. E., Mastrogiovanni, S., Messenger, C., Steer, D. A., and Veitch, J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Physical Review D
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN (Online):2470-0029
Published Online:08 June 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 American Physical Society
First Published:First published in Physical Review D 101(12): 122001
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
169451Investigations in Gravitational RadiationSheila RowanScience and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/L000946/1P&S - Physics & Astronomy