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Improved constraints on modified gravity with eccentric gravitational waves

Ma, Sizheng and Yunes, Nicolás (2019) Improved constraints on modified gravity with eccentric gravitational waves. Physical Review D, 100 (12). Art. No. 124032. ISSN 2470-0010. doi:10.1103/physrevd.100.124032.

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Recent gravitational wave observations have allowed stringent new constraints on modifications to general relativity (GR) in the extreme gravity regime. Although these observations were consistent with compact binaries with no orbital eccentricity, gravitational waves emitted in mildly eccentric binaries may be observed once detectors reach their design sensitivity. In this paper, we study the effect of eccentricity in gravitational wave constraints of modified gravity, focusing on Jordan-Brans-Dicke-Fierz theory as an example. Using the stationary phase approximation and the postcircular approximation (an expansion in small eccentricity), we first construct an analytical expression for frequency-domain gravitational waveforms produced by inspiraling compact binaries with small eccentricity in this theory. We then calculate the overlap between our approximate analytical waveforms and an eccentric numerical model (TaylorT4) to determine the regime of validity (in eccentricity) of the former. With this at hand, we carry out a Fisher analysis to determine the accuracy to which Jordan-Brans-Dicke-Fierz theory could be constrained given future eccentric detections consistent with general relativity. We find that the constraint on the theory initially deteriorates (due to covariances between the eccentricity and the Brans-Dicke coupling parameter), but then it begins to recover, once the eccentricity is larger than approximately 0.03. We also find that third-generation ground-based detectors and space-based detectors could allow for constraints that are up to an order of magnitude more stringent than current Solar System bounds. Our results suggest that waveforms in modified gravity for systems with moderate eccentricity should be developed to maximize the theoretical physics that can be extracted in the future.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Ma, Sizheng0000-0002-4645-453X
Yunes, Nicolás0000-0001-6147-1736
Additional Information:© 2019 American Physical Society. (Received 19 August 2019; published 11 December 2019) N. Y. acknowledges support from the NSF CAREER Grant No. PHY-1250636 and NASA Grants No. NNX16AB98G and No. 80NSSC17M0041. We would also like to thank Nicholas Loutrel, Alejandro Cárdenas-Avendaño, Hector Okada da Silva, Blake Moore, and Travis Robson for many discussions. The research carried out here was partially done on the Hyalite High Performance Computing Cluster of Montana State University, as well as on the Caltech High Performance Cluster, partially supported by a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
Group:Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics, TAPIR
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:12
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20191212-105210505
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100273
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:12 Dec 2019 22:31
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:52

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