[1210.3007] Suitability of hybrid gravitational waveforms for unequal-mass binaries

Authors: Ilana MacDonald, Abdul H. Mroue, Harald P. Pfeiffer, Michael Boyle, Lawrence E. Kidder, Mark A. Scheel, Bela Szilagyi, Nicholas W. Taylor

Date: 10 Oct 2012

Abstract: This article studies sufficient accuracy criteria of hybrid post-Newtonian (PN) and numerical relativity (NR) waveforms for parameter estimation of strong binary black-hole sources in second- generation ground-based gravitational-wave detectors. We investigate equal-mass non-spinning binaries with a new 33-orbit NR waveform, as well as unequal-mass binaries with mass ratios 2, 3, 4 and 6. For equal masses, the 33-orbit NR waveform allows us to recover previous results and to extend the analysis toward matching at lower frequencies. For unequal masses, the errors between different PN approximants increase with mass ratio. Thus, at 3.5PN, hybrids for higher-mass-ratio systems would require NR waveforms with many more gravitational-wave (GW) cycles to guarantee no adverse impact on parameter estimation. Furthermore, we investigate the potential improvement in hybrid waveforms that can be expected from 4th order post-Newtonian waveforms, and find that knowledge of this 4th post-Newtonian order would significantly improve the accuracy of hybrid waveforms.

abs pdf

Oct 15, 2012

1210.3007 (/preprints)
2012-10-15, 22:56 [edit]


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