Black-hole binary coalescence: phenomenological models for non-precessing systems and astrophysics of intermediate-mass binaries

10/27/2009 - 2:30pm to 3:30pm
Lucía Santamaría
Speaker affiliation: 
Max-Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute), Potsdam

Binaries of black holes (BBHs) are amongst the most interesting sources of gravitational radiation for current and future ground-based observatories. Theoretical models of the radiation produced by coalescing BBH systems that undergo an inspiraling process to eventually merge and ring down to a final Kerr black hole are of capital importance for current matched-filter searches of compact binaries in the output of the LIGO and Virgo detectors. The success of numerical relativity techniques to model the BBH merger and ringdown, together with the latest developments in post-Newtonian theory now allow the construction of reliable waveforms for the full BBH coalescence. I present a new phenomenological waveform model for non-precessing spinning BBHs with moderate mass ratios, based on matching post-Newtonian and numerical data in the frequency domain. This model can be immediately ported to LIGO/Virgo data analysis pipelines as a new approximant for injections or filtering templates. I also discuss the possibility of using this waveform model to search for intermediate-mass BBHs with current and future ground-based detectors.

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