LIGO Document P070077-x0

Interpreting the results of searches for gravitational waves from coalescing binaries

Document #:
Document type:
P - Publications
We describe a method to obtain an astrophysical result from the output of a search for gravitational waves from coalescing binaries. Specifically, we introduce a method based on the loudest event statistic to calculate an upper limit or interval on the astrophysical rate of binary coalescence. The calculation depends upon the sensitivity and noise background of the detectors, and a model for the astrophysical distribution of coalescing binaries. There are significant uncertainties in the calculation of the rate due to both astrophysical and instrumental uncertainties as well as errors introduced by using the post-Newtonian waveform to approximate the full signal. We catalog these uncertainties in detail and describe a method for marginalizing over them. Throughout, we provide an example based on the initial LIGO detectors.
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Notes and Changes:

Rev P070077-00-Z:
- Full document number: LIGO-P070077-00-Z
- Author(s): Patrick Brady; Steve Fairhurst
- Document date: 2007-06-25
- Document received date: 2007-06-25
- Document entry date: 2007-06-25
Journal References:
Published in Class Quant Grav vol. 25 pg. 105002 (26pp).

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