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Inferring the population properties of binary black holes from unresolved gravitational waves

Smith, Rory J. E. and Talbot, Colm and Hernandez Vivanco, Francisco and Thrane, Eric (2020) Inferring the population properties of binary black holes from unresolved gravitational waves. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 496 (3). pp. 3281-3290. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/staa1642.

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The vast majority of compact binary mergers in the Universe produce gravitational waves that are too weak to yield unambiguous detections; they are unresolved. We present a method to infer the population properties of compact binaries – such as their merger rates, mass spectrum, and spin distribution – using both resolved and unresolved gravitational waves. By eliminating entirely the distinction between resolved and unresolved signals, we eliminate bias from selection effects. To demonstrate this method, we carry out a Monte Carlo study using an astrophysically motivated population of binary black holes. We show that some population properties of compact binaries are well constrained by unresolved signals after about one week of observation with Advanced LIGO at design sensitivity.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Smith, Rory J. E.0000-0001-8516-3324
Talbot, Colm0000-0003-2053-5582
Thrane, Eric0000-0002-4418-3895
Additional Information:© 2020 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Accepted 2020 June 2. Received 2020 May 25; in original form 2020 April 21. RS, CT, FHV, and ET are supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) CE170100004. ET is supported by ARC FT150100281. We thank Stuart Anderson and the LIGO Data Grid for assistance with computing infrastructure, and Maya Fishbach, Thomas Callister, and Thomas Dent for helpful comments and suggestions. We acknowledge the OzStar cluster for providing graphical processor units to carry out some of our calculations.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Australian Research CouncilCE170100004
Australian Research CouncilFT150100281
Subject Keywords:gravitational waves, black hole mergers
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201022-161607996
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Rory J E Smith, Colm Talbot, Francisco Hernandez Vivanco, Eric Thrane, Inferring the population properties of binary black holes from unresolved gravitational waves, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 496, Issue 3, August 2020, Pages 3281–3290,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:106236
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:23 Oct 2020 15:20
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:52

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