COSMIC variance in binary population synthesis

Katelyn Breivik*, Scott C. Coughlin, Michael Zevin, Carl L. Rodriguez, Kyle Kremer, Claire S. Ye, Jeff J. Andrews, Michael Kurkowski, Matthew C. Digman, Shane L. Larson, Frederic A. Rasio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The formation and evolution of binary stars is a critical component of several fields in astronomy. The most numerous sources for gravitational wave observatories are inspiraling and/or merging compact binaries, while binary stars are present in nearly every electromagnetic survey regardless of the target population. Simulations of large binary populations serve to both predict and inform observations of electromagnetic and gravitational wave sources. Binary population synthesis is a tool that balances physical modeling with simulation speed to produce large binary populations on timescales of days. We present a community-developed binary population synthesis suite: COSMIC which is designed to simulate compact-object binary populations and their progenitors. As a proof of concept, we simulate the Galactic population of compact binaries and their gravitational wave signal observable by the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). We find that ∼ 108 compact binaries reside in the Milky Way today, while ∼ 104 of them may be resolvable by LISA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Nov 3 2019


  • Binaries: close
  • Gravitational waves
  • Methods: statistical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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