LIGO Document P1500222-v29

GW150914: Implications for the stochastic gravitational-wave background from binary black holes

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The LIGO detection of the gravitational wave transient GW150914, from the inspiral and merger of two black holes with masses greater than 30 solar masses, suggests a population of binary black holes with relatively high mass.
This observation implies that the stochastic gravitational-wave background from binary black holes, created from the incoherent superposition of all the merging binaries in the Universe, could be higher than previously expected.
Using the properties of GW150914, we estimate the energy density of such stochastic background from binary black holes.
In the most sensitive part for stochastic backgrounds of the Advanced LIGO/Virgo band near 25 Hz, we predict Omega_{GW}(f=25Hz) = (1.1+2.7-0.9)e-9 $ with 90\% confidence.
This prediction is robustly demonstrated for a variety of formation scenarios with different parameters.
The differences between models are small compared to the statistical uncertainty arising from the currently poorly constrained local coalescence rate.
We conclude that this stochastic background is potentially measurable by Advanced LIGO/Virgo operating at their projected final sensitivity.
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