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Published October 2016 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

Binary Black Hole Mergers in the First Advanced LIGO Observing Run


The first observational run of the Advanced LIGO detectors, from September 12, 2015 to January 19, 2016, saw the first detections of gravitational waves from binary black hole mergers. In this paper, we present full results from a search for binary black hole merger signals with total masses up to 100M⊙ and detailed implications from our observations of these systems. Our search, based on general-relativistic models of gravitational-wave signals from binary black hole systems, unambiguously identified two signals, GW150914 and GW151226, with a significance of greater than 5σ over the observing period. It also identified a third possible signal, LVT151012, with substantially lower significance and with an 87% probability of being of astrophysical origin. We provide detailed estimates of the parameters of the observed systems. Both GW150914 and GW151226 provide an unprecedented opportunity to study the two-body motion of a compact-object binary in the large velocity, highly nonlinear regime. We do not observe any deviations from general relativity, and we place improved empirical bounds on several high-order post-Newtonian coefficients. From our observations, we infer stellar-mass binary black hole merger rates lying in the range 9–240 Gpc^(−3)  yr^(−1). These observations are beginning to inform astrophysical predictions of binary black hole formation rates and indicate that future observing runs of the Advanced detector network will yield many more gravitational-wave detections.

Additional Information

© 2016 Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article's title, journal citation, and DOI. Received 24 June 2016; revised manuscript received 8 August 2016; published 21 October 2016. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) for the construction and operation of the LIGO Laboratory and Advanced LIGO, as well as the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) of the United Kingdom, the Max-Planck-Society (MPS), and the State of Niedersachsen/Germany for support of the construction of Advanced LIGO and construction and operation of the GEO600 detector. Additional support for Advanced LIGO was provided by the Australian Research Council. The authors gratefully acknowledge the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, for the construction and operation of the Virgo detector and the creation and support of the EGO consortium. The authors also gratefully acknowledge research support from these agencies, as well as by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research of India; Department of Science and Technology, India; Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB), India; Ministry of Human Resource Development, India; the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad; the Conselleria d'Economia i Competitivitat and Conselleria d'Educació; Cultura i Universitats of the Govern de les Illes Balears; the National Science Centre of Poland; the European Commission; the Royal Society; the Scottish Funding Council; the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance; the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA); the Lyon Institute of Origins (LIO); the National Research Foundation of Korea; Industry Canada and the Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation; the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council Canada; Canadian Institute for Advanced Research; the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation; Fundaćão de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP); Russian Foundation for Basic Research; the Leverhulme Trust, the Research Corporation; Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Taiwan; and the Kavli Foundation. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the NSF, STFC, MPS, INFN, CNRS, and the State of Niedersachsen/Germany for provision of computational resources.

Attached Files

Submitted - 1606.04856v2.pdf

Published - PhysRevX.6.041015.pdf


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August 20, 2023
August 20, 2023