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Published May 17, 1993 | Published
Journal Article Open

The last three minutes: Issues in gravitational-wave measurements of coalescing compact binaries


Gravitational-wave interferometers are expected to monitor the last three minutes of inspiral and final coalescence of neutron star and black hole binaries at distances approaching cosmological, where the event rate may be many per year. Because the binary's accumulated orbital phase can be measured to a fractional accuracy ≪10^-3 and relativistic effects are large, the wave forms will be far more complex and carry more information than has been expected. Improved wave form modeling is needed as a foundation for extracting the waves' information, but is not necessary for wave detection.

Additional Information

© 1993 The American Physical Society Received 24 August 1992 For helpful discussions we thank D. Chernoff, L. Kidder, A. Krolak, E. S. Phinney, B. F. Schutz, C. M. Will, and A. Wiseman. This research was supported in part by NSF Grant No. PHY-9213508, and, in view of its applications to LAGOS, by NASA Grants No. NAGW-2897, No. 2920, and No. 2936, and by a Lee A. DuBridge Fellowship to L. Bilsten, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship to L. S. Finn, and a NSERC Fellowship to E. Poisson.

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