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Effective-one-body waveforms calibrated to numerical relativity simulations: coalescence of nonspinning, equal-mass black holes

Buonanno, Alessandra and Pan, Yi and Pfeiffer, Harald P. and Scheel, Mark A. and Buchman, Luisa T. and Kidder, Lawrence E. (2009) Effective-one-body waveforms calibrated to numerical relativity simulations: coalescence of nonspinning, equal-mass black holes. Physical Review D, 79 (12). p. 124028. ISSN 2470-0010.

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We calibrate the effective-one-body (EOB) model to an accurate numerical simulation of an equal-mass, nonspinning binary black-hole coalescence produced by the Caltech-Cornell Collaboration. Aligning the EOB and numerical waveforms at low frequency over a time interval of ~1000M, and taking into account the uncertainties in the numerical simulation, we investigate the significance and degeneracy of the EOB-adjustable parameters during inspiral, plunge, and merger, and determine the minimum number of EOB-adjustable parameters that achieves phase and amplitude agreements on the order of the numerical error. We find that phase and fractional amplitude differences between the numerical and EOB values of the dominant gravitational-wave mode h_22 can be reduced to 0.02 radians and 2%, respectively, until a time 20M before merger, and to 0.04 radians and 7%, respectively, at a time 20M after merger (during ringdown). Using LIGO, Enhanced LIGO, and Advanced LIGO noise curves, we find that the overlap between the EOB and the numerical h_22, maximized only over the initial phase and time of arrival, is larger than 0.999 for equal-mass binary black holes with total mass 30–150 M☉. In addition to the leading gravitational mode (2, 2), we compare the dominant subleading modes (4, 4) and (3, 2) for the inspiral and find phase and amplitude differences on the order of the numerical error. We also determine the mass-ratio dependence of one of the EOB-adjustable parameters by calibrating to numerical inspiral waveforms for black-hole binaries with mass ratios 2:1 and 3:1. The results presented in this paper improve and extend recent successful attempts aimed at providing gravitational-wave data analysts the best analytical EOB model capable of interpolating accurate numerical simulations.

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Pfeiffer, Harald P.0000-0001-9288-519X
Kidder, Lawrence E.0000-0001-5392-7342
Additional Information:© 2009 The American Physical Society. Received 4 February 2009; published 17 June 2009. We thank O. Rinne for his work on implementing the Regge-Wheeler-Zerilli wave extraction, and F. Zhang for extrapolating waveforms to infinite extraction radius. We also thank E. Berti and E. Ochsner for useful discussions, and E. Berti for providing us with the quasinormal mode frequencies and decay times used in this paper. A. B. and Y. P. acknowledge support from NSF Grant No. PHY- 0603762. L. B., L. K., H. P., and M. S. are supported in part by grants from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation to Caltech and Cornell, and from the Brinson Foundation to Caltech; by NSF Grants Nos. PHY-0601459, PHY-0652995, and DMS-0553302 at Caltech; by NSF Grants Nos. PHY-0652952 and DMS-0553677, and Grant No. PHY-0652929 at Cornell. PACS: 04.25.D-; 04.25.dg; 04.25.Nx; 04.30.-w
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Sherman Fairchild FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Brinson FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:12
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090730-104233665
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14739
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:07 Aug 2009 18:30
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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