Improved analysis of GW150914 using a fully spin-precessing waveform model
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.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Physical Review X
Abbott, B., Abbott, R., Abbott, T., Abernathy, M., Acernese, F., Ackley, K., Adams, C., Adams, T., Addesso, P., Adhikari, R., Adya, V., Affeldt, C., Agathos, M., Agatsuma, K., Aggarwal, N., Aguiar, O., Aiello, L., Ain, A., Ajith, P., Allen, B., Allocca, A., Altin, P., Anderson, S., Anderson, W., Arai, K., Araya, M., Arceneaux, C., Areeda, J., Arnaud, N., Arun, K., Ascenzi, S., Ashton, G., & Ast, M. (2016). Improved analysis of GW150914 using a fully spin-precessing waveform model. Physical Review X, 6 (4) https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevX.6.041014