A new paper appeared in the Physical Review Letters presents an important improvement in the analytical modeling of the gravitational waves (GWs) from black-hole mergers.
Coalescing black-hole binaries are among the most promising sources of GWs for interferometric detectors like LIGO. GW signals will be buried in the detector noise, and to find them GW astronomers cross correlate the data against theoretical predictions. The most sophisticated current theoretical models combine perturbative calculations of the slow inspiral of a binary with large-scale supercomputer simulations of the merger.
Until now those models dealt only with black holes that do not spin. But it is likely that many black holes in the universe are highly spinning. Adding spin to GW models is challenging, because the spinning-binary parameter space is large and poorly understood, and could require thousands of expensive simulations to model.
The authors simplify the problem by considering only configurations with fixed (non-precessing) spins, making the problem tractable with ~40 simulations. They find that in some cases the new model will allow observations out to up to five times the volume of the universe accessible with past models. Remarkably, there is also evidence that a large fraction of all (generic) spinning binaries could be detected with this model.
The lead author of this paper is a member of the IndIGO consortium.
- LIGO-IndIGO summer research program
- Max Planck Postdoctoral Fellowship at the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences, Bangalore
- Post-doctoral Position under CEFIPRA Project on Gravitational Waves at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Thiruvananthapuram, India (IISER TVM)
- Max Planck Prize Postdoctoral Position in Astrophysical Relativity at the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences, Bangalore
- Multiple Project Staff Scientist openings at IUCAA