[1110.0530] Towards a generic test of the strong field dynamics of general relativity using compact binary coalescence

Authors: T. G. F. Li, W. Del Pozzo, S. Vitale, C. Van Den Broeck, M. Agathos, J. Veitch, K. Grover, T. Sidery, R. Sturani, A. Vecchio

Date: 3 Oct 2011

Abstract: Coalescences of binary neutron stars and/or black holes are amongst the most likely gravitational-wave signals to be observed in ground based interferometric detectors. Apart from the astrophysical importance of their detection, they will also provide us with our very first empirical access to the genuinely strong-field dynamics of General Relativity (GR). We present a Bayesian data analysis method aimed at detecting deviations from GR, through measuring the consistency of the gravitational-wave phase coefficients in the inspiral regime with the predictions made by GR, without relying on any specific alternative theory of gravity. Sources in the Advanced LIGO and Virgo detectors are likely to have low a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Therefore, here we introduce a framework in which individual sources are analysed for deviations in a limited number of the first few phase coefficients, which are the most easily determined in a low-SNR scenario. We also show that by combining the results of multiple observations one can achieve a more powerful test than for any individual source. In order to explore this problem, we perform a range of numerical experiments in which simulated gravitational waves modeled in the restricted post-Newtonian, stationary phase approximation are added to Gaussian and stationary noise that follows the expected Advanced LIGO/Virgo noise curves.

abs pdf

Oct 05, 2011

1110.0530 (/preprints)
2011-10-05, 11:06 [edit]

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