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Interpreting the results of searches for gravitational waves from coalescing binaries

Brady, Patrick R. and Fairhurst, Stephen (2008) Interpreting the results of searches for gravitational waves from coalescing binaries. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 25 (10). Art. No. 105002. ISSN 0264-9381. doi:10.1088/0264-9381/25/10/105002.

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We describe a method to obtain an astrophysical result from the output of a search for gravitational waves from coalescing binaries. Specifically, we introduce a method based on the loudest event statistic to calculate an upper limit or interval on the astrophysical rate of binary coalescence. The calculation depends upon the sensitivity and noise background of the detectors, and a model for the astrophysical distribution of coalescing binaries. There are significant uncertainties in the calculation of the rate due to both astrophysical and instrumental uncertainties as well as errors introduced by using the post-Newtonian waveform to approximate the full signal. We catalog these uncertainties in detail and describe a method for marginalizing over them. Throughout, we provide an example based on the initial LIGO detectors.

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Brady, Patrick R.0000-0002-4611-9387
Additional Information:Copyright © Institute of Physics and IOP Publishing Limited 2008. Received 15 November 2007, in final form 12 March 2008. Published 29 April 2008. Print publication: Issue 10 (21 May 2008). We would like to acknowledge many useful discussions with members of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration inspiral analysis group which were critical in the formulation of the methods and results described in this paper. This work has been supported in part by NSF grant PHY-0200852, a Cottrell Scholar Award from the Research Corporation (PRB), and the Royal Society (SF). LIGO was constructed by the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology with funding from the National Science Foundation and operates under cooperative agreement PHY-0107417. This paper has LIGO document no LIGO-P070077-00-Z.
Issue or Number:10
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:10396
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Deposited On:02 May 2008
Last Modified:12 Jul 2022 19:51

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