A Caltech Library Service

Suitability of post-Newtonian/numerical-relativity hybrid waveforms for gravitational wave detectors

MacDonald, Ilana and Nissanke, Samaya and Pfeiffer, Harald P. (2011) Suitability of post-Newtonian/numerical-relativity hybrid waveforms for gravitational wave detectors. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 28 (13). Art. No. 134002. ISSN 0264-9381.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


This paper presents a study of the sufficient accuracy of post-Newtonian and numerical relativity waveforms for the most demanding usage case: parameter estimation of strong sources in advanced gravitational wave detectors. For black hole binaries, these detectors require accurate waveform models which can be constructed by fusing an analytical post-Newtonian inspiral waveform with a numerical relativity merger-ringdown waveform. We perform a comprehensive analysis of errors that enter such 'hybrid waveforms'. We find that the post-Newtonian waveform must be aligned with the numerical relativity waveform to exquisite accuracy, about 1/100 of a gravitational wave cycle. Phase errors in the inspiral phase of the numerical relativity simulation must be controlled to ≲ 0.1 rad. (These numbers apply to moderately optimistic estimates about the number of GW sources; exceptionally strong signals require even smaller errors.) The dominant source of error arises from the inaccuracy of the investigated post-Newtonian Taylor approximants. Using our error criterion, even at 3.5th post-Newtonian order, hybridization has to be performed significantly before the start of the longest currently available numerical waveforms which cover 30 gravitational wave cycles. The current investigation is limited to the equal-mass, zero-spin case and does not take into account calibration errors of the gravitational wave detectors.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Pfeiffer, Harald P.0000-0001-9288-519X
Additional Information:© 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd. Received 7 February 2011; in final form 7 May 2011; Published 16 June 2011. We would like to thank Michael Boyle and Nick Taylor for providing the NR waveforms that we are analyzing in this paper. We also thank Tanja Hinderer, Lucia Santamaría and Michele Vallisneri for careful reading of this manuscript. It is a pleasure to acknowledge useful discussions with P Ajith, Mike Boyle, Duncan Brown, Alessandra Buonnano, Curt Cutler, Scott Hughes, Lee Lindblom, Frank Ohme, Ben Owen, and Larne Pekowski. HP gratefully acknowledges support from the NSERC of Canada, from the Canada Research Chairs Program, and from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. SMN’s research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
Canada Research Chairs ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIAR)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:13
Classification Code:PACS: 04.25.D−, 04.25.dg, 04.25.Nx, 04.30.−w
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110705-113932521
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Suitability of post-Newtonian/numerical-relativity hybrid waveforms for gravitational wave detectors Ilana MacDonald et al 2011 Class. Quantum Grav. 28 134002
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:24297
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:05 Jul 2011 19:58
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

Repository Staff Only: item control page