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Published September 7, 2010 | public
Journal Article

Predictions for the rates of compact binary coalescences observable by ground-based gravitational-wave detectors


We present an up-to-date, comprehensive summary of the rates for all types of compact binary coalescence sources detectable by the initial and advanced versions of the ground-based gravitational-wave detectors LIGO and Virgo. Astrophysical estimates for compact-binary coalescence rates depend on a number of assumptions and unknown model parameters and are still uncertain. Themost confident among these estimates are the rate predictions for coalescing binary neutron stars which are based on extrapolations from observed binary pulsars in our galaxy. These yield a likely coalescence rate of 100 Myr^(−1) per Milky Way Equivalent Galaxy (MWEG), although the rate could plausibly range from 1 Myr^(−1) MWEG^(−1) to 1000 Myr^(−1) MWEG^(−1) (Kalogera et al 2004 Astrophys. J. 601 L179; Kalogera et al 2004 Astrophys. J. 614 L137 (erratum)). We convert coalescence rates into detection rates based on data from the LIGO S5 and Virgo VSR2 science runs and projected sensitivities for our advanced detectors. Using the detector sensitivities derived from these data, we find a likely detection rate of 0.02 per year for Initial LIGO–Virgo interferometers, with a plausible range between 2 × 10^(−4) and 0.2 per year. The likely binary neutron–star detection rate for the Advanced LIGO–Virgo network increases to 40 events per year, with a range between 0.4 and 400 per year.

Additional Information

© 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd. Received 26 March 2010, in final form 15 May 2010. Published 16 July 2010. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the United States National Science Foundation for the construction and operation of the LIGO Laboratory, the Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom, the Max-Planck-Society, the State of Niedersachsen/Germany for support of the construction and operation of the GEO600 detector, and the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare and the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique for the construction and operation of the Virgo detector. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the support of the research by these agencies and by the Australian Research Council, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research of India, the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare of Italy, the Spanish Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, the Conselleria d'Economia Hisenda i Innovació of the Govern de les Illes Balears, the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the FOCUS Programme of Foundation for Polish Science, the Royal Society, the Scottish Funding Council, the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Carnegie Trust, the Leverhulme Trust, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Research Corporation and the Alfred P Sloan Foundation. One of us (CK) would like to acknowledge the European Commission.

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