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Including higher order multipoles in gravitational-wave models for precessing binary black holes

Khan, Sebastian and Ohme, Frank and Chatziioannou, Katerina and Hannam, Mark (2020) Including higher order multipoles in gravitational-wave models for precessing binary black holes. Physical Review D, 101 (2). Art. No. 024056. ISSN 2470-0010.

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Estimates of the source parameters of gravitational-wave (GW) events produced by compact binary mergers rely on theoretical models for the GW signal. We present the first frequency-domain model for the inspiral, merger, and ringdown of the GW signal from precessing binary black hole systems that also includes multipoles beyond the leading-order quadrupole. Our model, PhenomPv3HM, is a combination of the higher-multipole nonprecessing model PhenomHM and the spin-precessing model PhenomPv3 that includes two-spin precession via a dynamical rotation of the GW multipoles. We validate the new model by comparing to a large set of precessing numerical-relativity simulations and find excellent agreement across the majority of the parameter space they cover. For mass ratios <5 the mismatch improves, on average, from ∼6% to ∼2% compared to PhenomPv3 when we include higher multipoles in the model. However, we find mismatches ∼8% for a mass-ratio-6 and highly spinning simulation. We quantify the statistical uncertainty in the recovery of binary parameters by applying standard Bayesian parameter estimation methods to simulated signals. We find that, while the primary black hole spin parameters should be measurable even at moderate signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) ∼30, the secondary spin requires much larger SNRs ∼200. We also quantify the systematic uncertainty expected by recovering our simulated signals with different waveform models in which various physical effects—such as the inclusion of higher modes and/or precession—are omitted and find that even in the low-SNR case (∼17) the recovered parameters can be biased. Finally, as a first application of the new model we analyze the binary black hole event GW170729. We find larger values for the primary black hole mass of 58.25^(+11.73)_(−12.53) M_⊙ (90% credible interval). The lower limit (∼46 M_⊙) is comparable to the proposed maximum black hole mass predicted by different stellar evolution models due to the pulsation pair-instability supernova (PPISN) mechanism. If we assume that the primary black hole in GW170729 formed through a PPISN, then out of the four PPISN models we consider only the model of Woosley [1] is consistent with our mass measurements at the 90% confidence level.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Khan, Sebastian0000-0003-4953-5754
Chatziioannou, Katerina0000-0002-5833-413X
Additional Information:© 2020 American Physical Society. Received 21 November 2019; published 30 January. We thank Geoffrey Lovelace, Lawrence Kidder, and Michael Boyle for support with the SXS catalogue. We thank Carl J. Haster and Yoshinta Setyawati for useful discussions. S. K. and F. O. acknowledge support by the Max Planck Society’s Independent Research Group Grant. S. K. was also supported by European Research Council Consolidator Grant 647839. The Flatiron Institute is supported by the Simons Foundation. M. H. was supported by Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Grant No. ST/L000962/1 and European Research Council Consolidator Grant 647839, and thanks the Amaldi Research Center for hospitality. We thank the Atlas cluster computing team at AEI Hannover. The authors are grateful for computational resources provided by the LIGO Laboratory and supported by National Science Foundation Grant Nos. PHY-0757058 and PHY-0823459. This work made use of numerous open source computational packages, such as python [108], NumPy, SciPy [109], Matplotlib [110], the GW data analysis software library PyCBC [111], and the LSC Algorithm Library [107]. This research has made use of data, software, and/or web tools obtained from the Gravitational Wave Open Science Center (, a service of LIGO Laboratory, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, and the Virgo Collaboration. LIGO is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation. Virgo is funded by the French Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the Italian Istituto Nazionale della Fisica Nucleare (INFN), and the Dutch Nikhef, with contributions from Polish and Hungarian institutes.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Max Planck SocietyUNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)647839
Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/L000962/1
European Research Council (ERC)647839
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)UNSPECIFIED
Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200731-153831907
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:104690
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:31 Jul 2020 22:51
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 22:51

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