Searching for gravitational waves from the inspiral of precessing binary systems: Astrophysical expectations and detection efficiency of “spiky” templates

Philippe Grandclément*, Mia Ihm, Vassiliki Kalogera, Krzysztof Belczynski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Relativistic spin-orbit and spin-spin couplings have been shown to modify the gravitational wave forms expected from inspiraling binaries with a black hole and a neutron star. As a result inspiral signals may be missed due to significant losses in signal-to-noise ratio, if precession effects are ignored in gravitational-wave searches. We examine the sensitivity of the anticipated loss of signal-to-noise ratio on two factors: the accuracy of the precessing wave forms adopted as the true signals and the expected distributions of spin-orbit tilt angles, given the current understanding of their physical origin. We find that the results obtained using signals generated by approximate techniques are in good agreement with the ones obtained by integrating the 2PN equations. This shows that a complete account of all high-order post-Newtonian effects is usually not necessary for the determination of detection efficiencies. Based on our current astrophysical expectations, large tilt angles are not favored and as a result the decrease in detection rate varies rather slowly with respect to the black hole spin magnitude and is within 20–30 % of the maximum possible values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Volume69
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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