A Caltech Library Service

Extracting the Gravitational Recoil from Black Hole Merger Signals

Varma, Vijay and Isi, Maximiliano and Biscoveanu, Sylvia (2020) Extracting the Gravitational Recoil from Black Hole Merger Signals. Physical Review Letters, 124 (10). Art. No. 101104. ISSN 0031-9007. doi:10.1103/physrevlett.124.101104.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
See Usage Policy.

[img] PDF - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Gravitational waves carry energy, angular momentum, and linear momentum. In generic binary black hole mergers, the loss of linear momentum imparts a recoil velocity, or a “kick,” to the remnant black hole. We exploit recent advances in gravitational waveform and remnant black hole modeling to extract information about the kick from the gravitational wave signal. Kick measurements such as these are astrophysically valuable, enabling independent constraints on the rate of second-generation merger. Further, we show that kicks must be factored into future ringdown tests of general relativity with third-generation gravitational wave detectors to avoid systematic biases. We find that, although little information can be gained about the kick for existing gravitational wave events, interesting measurements will soon become possible as detectors improve. We show that, once LIGO and Virgo reach their design sensitivities, we will reliably extract the kick velocity for generically precessing binaries—including the so-called superkicks, reaching up to 5000 km/s.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Varma, Vijay0000-0002-9994-1761
Isi, Maximiliano0000-0001-8830-8672
Additional Information:© 2020 American Physical Society. (Received 31 January 2020; accepted 27 February 2020; published 13 March 2020) We thank Juan Calderon Bustillo for a review and comments on the manuscript. We thank Nathan Johnson-McDaniel, Ajith Parameswaran, Davide Gerosa, Matt Giesler, Leo Stein, Saul Teukolsky, Gregorio Carullo, Aaron Zimmerman, and Bala Iyer for useful discussions. V. V. is supported by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and NSF Grants No. PHY–170212 and No. PHY–1708213 at Caltech. M. I. is supported by NASA through the NASA Hubble Fellowship Grant No. HST-HF2-51410.001-A awarded by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., for NASA, under Contract No. NAS5-26555. This research made use of data, software, and/or web tools obtained from the Gravitational Wave Open Science Center [90], a service of the LIGO Laboratory, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, and the Virgo Collaboration. Computations were performed on the Alice cluster at ICTS and the Wheeler cluster at Caltech. This Letter carries LIGO document number LIGO-P2000030.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Sherman Fairchild FoundationUNSPECIFIED
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-HF2-51410.001-A
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
LIGO DocumentP2000030
Issue or Number:10
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200313-142323092
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:101911
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:16 Mar 2020 14:26
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:07

Repository Staff Only: item control page