Bulletin of the American Physical Society
APS April Meeting 2012
Volume 57, Number 3
Saturday–Tuesday, March 31–April 3 2012; Atlanta, Georgia
Session R7: Extracting Physical Information from Gravitational Wave Signals |
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Sponsoring Units: DCOMP GGR Chair: Neil Cornish, Montana State University Room: Embassy D |
Monday, April 2, 2012 1:30PM - 2:06PM |
R7.00001: Decoding Gravitational Waves from Compact Binary Coalescence Events Invited Speaker: Will Farr It is an exciting time for gravitational wave astrophysics! The LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave detectors are currently undergoing an upgrade that will improve their sensitivity by a factor of about 10. At this ``advanced'' sensitivity, it is likely that they will detect at least one gravitational wave signal from a coalescing compact binary per year; it is possible that detection rates may be several hundred times that. In this talk, I will discuss the techniques we have developed in the LIGO and Virgo Collaborations for extracting the astrophysical parameters of the sources that produce these gravitational waves and for performing model selection (i.e.\ between spinning and non-spinning models) on the signal. I will focus on the ways we overcome the dual challenges of high dimensionality---at least nine parameters for a circular, non-spinning binary black hole system, fifteen for a dual-spin binary black hole, and more if neutron star matter is involved---and a highly non-linear parameter space with significant correlations between parameters. Finally, I will discuss some of the tests we have performed that demonstrate the potential of our algorithms and give us confidence in the recovered parameter distributions and model probabilities, including a complete, end-to-end test of the interferometer system through a blind injection into the LIGO and Virgo detectors in September 2010. [Preview Abstract] |
Monday, April 2, 2012 2:06PM - 2:18PM |
R7.00002: Evidence for Spin in Compact Binary Coalescence: when can we trust it? Vivien Raymond, Ben Farr, Will Farr, Diego Fazi, John Veitch, Ilya Mandel, Ben Aylott, Christian R\"over, Vicky Kalogera LIGO/Virgo will soon enter their advanced phases and, among the anticipated detections, compact binary coalescences are of special interest because these events are the most promising for extracting astrophysical parameters of source systems. In order to do so, spin effects in the parameter estimation analysis have to be included. Given the complexity inherent to the high dimensions and strong correlations of the spinning parameter space, one can ask what limits our ability to distinguish non-spinning versus spinning signals. One way to answer this question is to explore when a non-spinning signal becomes indistinguishable from a spinning signal. We use our Bayesian inference code to compute evidences for non-spinning and spinning models on various injections, and try to assess the location in parameter space where non-spinning signals can hide. [Preview Abstract] |
Monday, April 2, 2012 2:18PM - 2:30PM |
R7.00003: Re-Purposed MCMC for Low-Latency Sky Localization of Gravitational Wave Sources Benjamin Farr, Vivien Raymond, Will Farr, Diego Fazi, John Veitch, Ilya Mandel, Benjamin Aylott, Christian Roever, Vicky Kalogera The electromagnetic followup of a gravitational wave event would not only increase confidence in the first detection, but also allow us to extract substantially more astrophysical information from the source. In order to promptly follow up a gravitational wave trigger, its sky position must be inferred as quickly and accurately as possible from the gravitational wave signature. For compact binary sources, low-latency sky localization is currently done using incoherent methods. These methods, though capable of producing results in seconds, have large uncertainties. We have re-purposed our Markov-Chain Monte Carlo parameter estimation code, originally designed for coherent searches over the 15 dimensional parameter space of a circularized compact binary merger, for low-latency sky localization. We anticipate that MCMC techniques will better estimate confidence regions, but do so with a runtime of hours. We show that through the use of specialized jump proposals and algorithm optimizations, runtime to achieve comparable sky maps can be reduced to minutes. [Preview Abstract] |
Monday, April 2, 2012 2:30PM - 2:42PM |
R7.00004: What Waveforms do Data Analysts Want?, or the dangers of systematic errors in parameter estimation Ilya Mandel The measurement of astrophysical parameters of coalescing binaries, encoded in their gravitational-wave signature, is a crucial step for enabling gravitational-wave astronomy. However, our ability to make such measurements may be jeopardized by unknown systematic uncertainties in the waveform templates used for parameter estimation. I express my personal views on what waveform features are most crucial to maximize the astrophysical potential of advanced ground-based gravitational-wave detectors. I also discuss ongoing work on determining whether one particular source -- neutron-star binaries -- may be largely immune to systematic waveform uncertainties. [Preview Abstract] |
Monday, April 2, 2012 2:42PM - 2:54PM |
R7.00005: Black Hole Spectroscopy, Final System Parameters Lionel London, James Healy, Sam Finn, Deirdre Shoemaker Given a gravitational wave signal containing merger and ring-down, we present a method for estimating the start of ring-down, and extracting quasi-normal mode information from the signal. The application of this method to numerical relativity waveforms may reveal information about the source generating the gravitational waves beyond the final mass and spin of the black hole. We investigate the potential for recovering the system's initial and final parameters from these modes. [Preview Abstract] |
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