LIGO Document P1400092-v1

The Importance of Spin for Observing Gravitational Waves from Coalescing Compact Binaries with LIGO and Virgo

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P - Publications
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General Relativity predicts the existence of gravitational waves, which carry information about the physical and dynamical properties of their source. One of the many promising sources of gravitational waves observable by ground-based instruments, such as in LIGO and Virgo, is the coalescence of two compact objects (neutron star or black hole). Black holes and neutron stars sometimes form binaries with short orbital periods, radiating so strongly in gravitational waves that they coalesce on astrophysically short timescales. General Relativity gives precise predictions for the form of the signal emitted by these systems. The most recent searches for theses events used waveform models that neglected the effects of black hole and neutron star spin. However, real astrophysical compact objects, especially black holes, are expected to have large spins. We demonstrate here a data analysis infrastructure which achieves an improved sensitivity to spinning compact binaries by the inclusion of spin effects in the template waveforms. This infrastructure is designed for scalable, low-latency data analysis, ideal for rapid electromagnetic followup of gravitational wave events.
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