LIGO Document G1602234-v1

Informing Astrophysics With Gravitational-wave Astronomy

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G - Presentations (eg Graphics)
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The discovery of gravitational-wave transients from compact binary mergers inaugurates an observational program complementing electromagnetic observations and paving new routes for multi-messenger astronomy and astrophysics. The gravitational-wave signature from a compact binary merger is unique to each event, and these features are used to measure the configuration and components of the binary. Since many parameters are correlated, only increased spectral sensitivity can disentangle some. However, as the catalog grows, categorical populations of mergers will become more distinct, thus hinting at the origins and environment of those populations. I will present selected topics in astrophysics using electromagnetic and gravitational-wave observations: How quickly and accurately can the properties of the binary be constrained by gravitational-wave observations? Does the accuracy of these measurements improve with electromagnetic source information? Can we determine the origin processes of specific black hole binary events purely from their parameter distributions? Progress on any of these questions can inform the others as well as provide new avenues to answer previously unassailable questions about these elusive objects and their habitats.
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