Population properties of compact objects from the second LIGO–Virgo Gravitational-Wave Transient Catalog

Abbott, R. et al. (2021) Population properties of compact objects from the second LIGO–Virgo Gravitational-Wave Transient Catalog. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 913(1), L7. (doi: 10.3847/2041-8213/abe949)

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Abstract

We report on the population of 47 compact binary mergers detected with a false-alarm rate of <$1\,{\mathrm{yr}}^{-1}$ in the second LIGO–Virgo Gravitational-Wave Transient Catalog. We observe several characteristics of the merging binary black hole (BBH) population not discernible until now. First, the primary mass spectrum contains structure beyond a power law with a sharp high-mass cutoff; it is more consistent with a broken power law with a break at ${39.7}_{-9.1}^{+20.3}\,\,{M}_{\odot }$ or a power law with a Gaussian feature peaking at ${33.1}_{-5.6}^{+4.0}\,\,{M}_{\odot }$ (90% credible interval). While the primary mass distribution must extend to $\sim 65\,{M}_{\odot }$ or beyond, only ${2.9}_{-1.7}^{+3.5} \% $ of systems have primary masses greater than $45\,{M}_{\odot }$. Second, we find that a fraction of BBH systems have component spins misaligned with the orbital angular momentum, giving rise to precession of the orbital plane. Moreover, $12$%–$44$% of BBH systems have spins tilted by more than 90°, giving rise to a negative effective inspiral spin parameter, ${\chi }_{\mathrm{eff}}$. Under the assumption that such systems can only be formed by dynamical interactions, we infer that between 25% and 93% of BBHs with nonvanishing $| {\chi }_{\mathrm{eff}}| \gt 0.01$ are dynamically assembled. Third, we estimate merger rates, finding ${{ \mathcal R }}_{\mathrm{BBH}}={23.9}_{-8.6}^{+14.3}\,\,{\mathrm{Gpc}}^{-3}\,{\mathrm{yr}}^{-1}$ for BBHs and ${{ \mathcal R }}_{\mathrm{BNS}}={320}_{-240}^{+490}\,\,{\mathrm{Gpc}}^{-3}\,{\mathrm{yr}}^{-1}$ for binary neutron stars. We find that the BBH rate likely increases with redshift ($85 \% $ credibility) but not faster than the star formation rate ($86 \% $ credibility). Additionally, we examine recent exceptional events in the context of our population models, finding that the asymmetric masses of GW190412 and the high component masses of GW190521 are consistent with our models, but the low secondary mass of GW190814 makes it an outlier.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Gravitational waves, astrophysical black holes, stellar mass black holes, massive stars, compact objects, Bayesian statistics.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Grant, Mr Alastair and Spencer, Mr Andrew and Masso Reid, Ms Mariela and Williams, Mr Daniel and Barr, Dr Bryan and Sorazu Lucio, Dr Borja and Veitch, Dr John and Linley, Mr Jethro and Kinley-Hanlon, Maya Marie Antoinette and Heng, Professor Ik Siong and Dupej, Peter and Briggs, Mr Joseph and Hendry, Professor Martin and Rowan, Professor Sheila and Tornasi, Zeno and Berry, Dr Christopher and Cunningham, Dr Liam and Gray, Ms Rachel and Datrier, Ms Laurence and Hough, Professor James and Huttner, Dr Sabina and De Lillo, Nicola and Messenger, Dr Christopher and Toland, Mr Karl and Hayes, Mr Fergus and Hammond, Professor Giles and Cummings, Ms Rebecca and Steinlechner, Dr Jessica and Tait, Mr Simon and Scott, Dr Jamie and Martin, Dr Iain and Robertson, Professor Norna and Mukherjee, Dr Arunava and Gabbard, Mr Hunter and Cumming, Dr Alan and Williams, Mr Michael and Woan, Professor Graham and WRIGHT, Jennifer and Callaghan, Mr Jack and Bayley, Mr Joseph and Strain, Professor Kenneth and Jones, Mr Russell and Eddolls, Graeme and Haughian, Dr Karen and Murray, Dr Peter
Authors: Abbott, R., Abbott, T. D., Abraham, S., Acernese, F., Ackley, K., Adams, A., Adams, C., Adhikari, R. X., Adya, V. B., Affeldt, C., Agathos, M., Agatsuma, K., Aggarwal, N., Aguiar, O. D., Aiello, L., Ain, A., Ajith, P., Allen, G., Allocca, A., Altin, P. A., Amato, A., Anand, S., Ananyeva, A., Anderson, S. B., Anderson, W. G., Angelova, S. V., Ansoldi, S., Antelis, J. M., Antier, S., Appert, S., Arai, K., Araya, M. C., Areeda, J. S., Arène, M., Arnaud, N., Aronson, S. M., Arun, K. G., Asali, Y., Ascenzi, S., Ashton, G., Aston, S. M., Astone, P., Aubin, F., Aufmuth, P., AultONeal, K., Austin, C., Avendano, V., Babak, S., Badaracco, F., Bader, M. K. M., Bae, S., Baer, A. M., Bagnasco, S., Baird, J., Ball, M., Ballardin, G., Ballmer, S. W., Bals, A., Balsamo, A., Baltus, G., Banagiri, S., Bankar, D., Bankar, R. S., Barayoga, J. C., Barbieri, C., Barish, B. C., Barker, D., Barneo, P., Barnum, S., Barone, F., Barr, B., Barsotti, L., Barsuglia, M., Barta, D., Bartlett, J., Bartos, I., Bassiri, R., Basti, A., Bawaj, M., Bayley, J.C., Bazzan, M., Becher, B. R., Bécsy, B., Bedakihale, V. M., Bejger, M., Belahcene, I., Beniwal, D., Benjamin, M. G., Bennett, T. F., Bentley, J. D., Bergamin, F., Berger, B. K., Bergmann, G., Bernuzzi, S., Berry, C.P.L., Bersanetti, D., Bertolini, A., Betzwieser, J., Bhandare, R., Bhandari, A. V., Bhattacharjee, D., Bidler, J., Bilenko, I. A., Billingsley, G., Birney, R., Birnholtz, O., Biscans, S., Bischi, M., Biscoveanu, S., Bisht, A., Bitossi, M., Bizouard, M.-A., Blackburn, J. K., Blackman, J., Blair, C. D., Blair, D. G., Blair, R. M., Blanch, O., Bobba, F., Bode, N., Boer, M., Boetzel, Y., Bogaert, G., Boldrini, M., Bondu, F., Bonilla, E., Bonnand, R., Booker, P., Boom, B. A., Bork, R., Boschi, V., Bose, S., Bossilkov, V., Boudart, V., Bouffanais, Y., Bozzi, A., Bradaschia, C., Brady, P. R., Bramley, A., Branchesi, M., Brau, J. E., Breschi, M., Briant, T., Briggs, J.H., Brighenti, F., Brillet, A., Brinkmann, M., Brockill, P., Brooks, A. F., Brooks, J., Brown, D. D., Brunett, S., Bruno, G., Bruntz, R., Buikema, A., Bulik, T., Bulten, H. J., Buonanno, A., Buscicchio, R., Buskulic, D., Byer, R. L., Cabero, M., Cadonati, L., Caesar, M., Cagnoli, G., Cahillane, C., Calderón Bustillo, J., Callaghan, J.D., Callister, T. A., Calloni, E., Camp, J. B., Canepa, M., Cannon, K. C., Cao, H., Cao, J., Carapella, G., Carbognani, F., Carney, M. F., Carpinelli, M., Carullo, G., Carver, T. L., Casanueva Diaz, J., Casentini, C., Caudill, S., Cavaglià, M., Cavalier, F., Cavalieri, R., Cella, G., Cerdá-Durán, P., Cesarini, E., Chaibi, W., Chakravarti, K., Chan, C.-L., Chan, C., Chandra, K., Chanial, P., Chao, S., Charlton, P., Chase, E. A., Chassande-Mottin, E., Chatterjee, D., Chattopadhyay, D., Chaturvedi, M., Chatziioannou, K., Chen, A., Chen, H. 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Subjects:Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
College/School:College of Science and Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Research Group:Institute for Gravitational Research
Journal Name:Astrophysical Journal Letters
Publisher:IOP Publishing
ISSN:2041-8205
ISSN (Online):2041-8213
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 IOP Publishing
First Published:First published in Astrophysical Journal Letters 913(1):L7
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
310743Investigations in Gravitational Radiation: 1-year extensionSheila RowanScience and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/V001736/1P&S - Physics & Astronomy
309290Advanced LIGO Operations SupportKenneth StrainScience and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/V001019/1P&S - Physics & Astronomy