Improved analysis of GW150914 using a fully spin-precessing waveform model

B. P. Abbott, R. Abbott, T. D. Abbott, M. R. Abernathy, F. Acernese, K. Ackley, C. Adams, T. Adams, P. Addesso, R. X. Adhikari, V. B. Adya, C. Affeldt, M. Agathos, K. Agatsuma, N. Aggarwal, O. D. Aguiar, L. Aiello, A. Ain, P. Ajith, B. AllenA. Allocca, P. A. Altin, S. B. Anderson, W. G. Anderson, K. Arai, M. C. Araya, C. C. Arceneaux, J. S. Areeda, N. Arnaud, K. G. Arun, S. Ascenzi, G. Ashton, M. Ast, S. M. Aston, P. Astone, P. Aufmuth, C. Aulbert, S. Babak, P. Bacon, M. K M Bader, P. T. Baker, F. Baldaccini, G. Ballardin, S. W. Ballmer, J. C. Barayoga, S. E. Barclay, B. C. Barish, D. Barker, F. Barone, V. Mandic, LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration

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This paper presents updated estimates of source parameters for GW150914, a binary black-hole coalescence event detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) in 2015 [Abbott et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 061102 (2016).]. Abbott et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 241102 (2016).] presented parameter estimation of the source using a 13-dimensional, phenomenological precessing-spin model (precessing IMRPhenom) and an 11-dimensional nonprecessing effective-one body (EOB) model calibrated to numerical-relativity simulations, which forces spin alignment (nonprecessing EOBNR). Here, we present new results that include a 15-dimensional precessingspin waveform model (precessing EOBNR) developed within the EOB formalism. We find good agreement with the parameters estimated previously [Abbott et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 241102 (2016).], and we quote updated component masses of 35 +5 -3 M· and 30 +5 -3 M· (where errors correspond to 90% symmetric credible intervals). We also present slightly tighter constraints on the dimensionless spin magnitudes of the two black holes, with a primary spin estimate < 0.65 and a secondary spin estimate < 0.75 at 90% probability. Abbott et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 241102 (2016).] estimated the systematic parameter-extraction errors due to waveform-model uncertainty by combining the posterior probability densities of precessing IMRPhenom and nonprecessing EOBNR. Here, we find that the two precessing-spin models are in closer agreement, suggesting that these systematic errors are smaller than previously quoted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041014
JournalPhysical Review X
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2016


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