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Degeneracy between mass and spin in black-hole-binary waveforms

Baird, Emily, Fairhurst, Stephen ORCID:, Hannam, Mark ORCID: and Murphy, Patricia 2013. Degeneracy between mass and spin in black-hole-binary waveforms. Physical Review D 87 (2) , 024035. 10.1103/PhysRevD.87.024035

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We explore the degeneracy between mass and spin in gravitational waveforms emitted by black-hole-binary coalescences. We focus on spin-aligned waveforms and obtain our results using phenomenological models that were tuned to numerical-relativity simulations. A degeneracy is known for low-mass binaries (particularly neutron-star binaries), where gravitational-wave detectors are sensitive to only the inspiral phase, and the waveform can be modeled by post-Newtonian theory. Here, we consider black-hole binaries, where detectors will also be sensitive to the merger and ringdown, and demonstrate that the degeneracy persists across a broad mass range. At low masses, the degeneracy is between mass ratio and the black-hole spins, with chirp mass accurately determined. At higher masses, the degeneracy persists but is not so clearly characterized by constant chirp mass as the merger and ringdown become more significant. We consider the importance of this degeneracy both for performing searches (including searches where only nonspinning templates are used) and in parameter extraction from observed systems. We compare observational capabilities between the early (∼2015) and final (2018 onwards) versions of the Advanced LIGO detector.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at (accessed 28/04/2014).
Publisher: American Physical Society
ISSN: 1550-7998
Funders: STFC, Royal Society
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 22 May 2023 23:07

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