Detecting gravitational-wave memory with LIGO: implications of GW150914

14 Jul 2016  ·  Lasky Paul D., Thrane Eric, Levin Yuri, Blackman Jonathan, Chen Yanbei ·

It may soon be possible for Advanced LIGO to detect hundreds of binary black hole mergers per year. We show how the accumulation of many such measurements will allow for the detection of gravitational-wave memory: a permanent displacement of spacetime that comes from strong-field, general relativistic effects... We estimate that Advanced LIGO operating at design sensitivity may be able to make a signal-to-noise ratio 3(5) detection of memory with ~35 (90) events with masses and distance similar to GW150914. We highlight the importance of incorporating higher-order gravitational-wave modes for parameter estimation of binary black hole mergers, and describe how our methods can also be used to detect higher-order modes themselves before Advanced LIGO reaches design sensitivity. read more

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High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology