Tests of general relativity with binary black holes from the second LIGO-Virgo gravitational-wave transient catalog

(LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Gravitational waves enable tests of general relativity in the highly dynamical and strong-field regime. Using events detected by LIGO-Virgo up to 1 October 2019, we evaluate the consistency of the data with predictions from the theory. We first establish that residuals from the best-fit waveform are consistent with detector noise, and that the low- and high-frequency parts of the signals are in agreement. We then consider parametrized modifications to the waveform by varying post-Newtonian and phenomenological coefficients, improving past constraints by factors of ∼2; we also find consistency with Kerr black holes when we specifically target signatures of the spin-induced quadrupole moment. Looking for gravitational-wave dispersion, we tighten constraints on Lorentz-violating coefficients by a factor of ∼2.6 and bound the mass of the graviton to mg≤1.76×10-23 eV/c2 with 90% credibility. We also analyze the properties of the merger remnants by measuring ringdown frequencies and damping times, constraining fractional deviations away from the Kerr frequency to δf^220=0.03-0.35+0.38 for the fundamental quadrupolar mode, and δf^221=0.04-0.32+0.27 for the first overtone; additionally, we find no evidence for postmerger echoes. Finally, we determine that our data are consistent with tensorial polarizations through a template-independent method. When possible, we assess the validity of general relativity based on collections of events analyzed jointly. We find no evidence for new physics beyond general relativity, for black hole mimickers, or for any unaccounted systematics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number122002
JournalPhysical Review D
Volume103
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Analyses in this paper made use of numpy , scipy , astropy , ipython , qnm , pesummary , and gwpy ; plots were produced with matplotlib , and seaborn . Posteriors were sampled with stan , cpnest , pymultinest , and lalinference . The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) for the construction and operation of the LIGO Laboratory and Advanced LIGO as well as the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) of the United Kingdom, the Max-Planck-Society (MPS), and the State of Niedersachsen/Germany for support of the construction of Advanced LIGO and construction and operation of the GEO600 detector. Additional support for Advanced LIGO was provided by the Australian Research Council. The authors gratefully acknowledge the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, for the construction and operation of the Virgo detector and the creation and support of the EGO consortium. The authors also gratefully acknowledge research support from these agencies as well as by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research of India, the Department of Science and Technology, India, the Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB), India, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, India, the Spanish Agencia Estatal de Investigación, the Vicepresidència i Conselleria d’Innovació, Recerca i Turisme and the Conselleria d’Educació i Universitat del Govern de les Illes Balears, the Conselleria d’Innovació, Universitats, Ciència i Societat Digital de la Generalitat Valenciana and the CERCA Programme Generalitat de Catalunya, Spain, the National Science Centre of Poland and the Foundation for Polish Science (FNP), the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, the Russian Science Foundation, the European Commission, the European Regional Development Funds (ERDF), the Royal Society, the Scottish Funding Council, the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA), the French Lyon Institute of Origins (LIO), the Belgian Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (FRS-FNRS), Actions de Recherche Concertées (ARC) and Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek—Vlaanderen (FWO), Belgium, the Paris Île-de-France Region, the National Research, Development and Innovation Office Hungary (NKFIH), the National Research Foundation of Korea, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council Canada, Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations, and Communications, the International Center for Theoretical Physics South American Institute for Fundamental Research (ICTP-SAIFR), the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), the Leverhulme Trust, the Research Corporation, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Taiwan and the Kavli Foundation. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the NSF, STFC, INFN, and CNRS for provision of computational resources.

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