[0906.3602] Bounding the mass of the graviton with gravitational waves: Effect of spin precessions in massive black hole binaries

Authors: Adamantios Stavridis (Washington U. St. Louis), Clifford M. Will (Washington U. St. Louis & Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris)

Date: 19 Jun 2009

Abstract: Observations of gravitational waves from massive binary black hole systems at cosmological distances can be used to search for a dependence of the speed of propagation of the waves on wavelength, and thereby to bound the mass of a hypothetical graviton. We study the effects of precessions of the spins of the black holes and of the orbital angular momentum on the process of parameter estimation using matched filtering of gravitational-wave signals vs. theoretical template waveforms. For the proposed space interferometer LISA, we show that precessions, and the accompanying modulations of the gravitational waveforms, are effective in breaking degeneracies among the parameters being estimated, and effectively restore the achievable graviton-mass bounds to levels obtainable from binary inspirals without spin. For spinning, precessing binary black hole systems of equal masses (10ˆ6 solar masses) at 3 Gpc, the bounds on the graviton Compton wavelength achievable are of the order of 5 X 10ˆ{16} km.

abs pdf

Jun 29, 2009

0906.3602 (/preprints)
2009-06-29, 08:59 [edit]

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