Journal article

Interpreting gravitational-wave burst detections: constraining source properties without astrophysical models

Bence Becsy, Peter Raffai, Kiranjyot Gill, Tyson B Littenberg, Margaret Millhouse, Marek J Szczepanczyk

CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM GRAVITY | IOP PUBLISHING LTD | Published : 2020

Abstract

We show that for detections of gravitational-wave transients, constraints can be given on physical parameters of the source without using any specific astrophysical models. Relying only on fundamental principles of general relativity, we can set upper limits on the size, mass, and distance of the source solely from characteristics of the observed waveform. If the distance of the source is known from independent (e.g. electromagnetic) observations, we can also set lower limits on the mass and size. As a demonstration, we tested these constraints on binary black hole signals observed by the LIGO and Virgo detectors during their first and second observing runs, as well as on simulated binary bl..

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University of Melbourne Researchers

Grants

Awarded by New National Excellence Program of the Ministry of Human Capacities of Hungary


Awarded by Australian Research Council Center of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav)


Funding Acknowledgements

This paper was reviewed by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration under LIGO Document P1800133. We would like to thank Erik Katsavounidis, Jade Powell, and Ronaldas Macas for their valuable comments on the manuscript. Bence Becsy and Peter Raffai was supported by the uNKP-17-2 (BB) and uNKP-17-4 (PR) New National Excellence Program of the Ministry of Human Capacities of Hungary. The authors would like to acknowledge the use of the LIGO Data Grid computer clusters for performing all the computation reported in the paper. Parts of this research were conducted by the Australian Research Council Center of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav), through project number CE170100004.