skip to main content


Title: Compact binary merger rates: Comparison with LIGO/Virgo upper limits

Here, we compare evolutionary predictions of double compact object merger rate densities with initial and forthcoming LIGO/Virgo upper limits. We find that: (i) Due to the cosmological reach of advanced detectors, current conversion methods of population synthesis predictions into merger rate densities are insufficient. (ii) Our optimistic models are a factor of 18 below the initial LIGO/Virgo upper limits for BH–BH systems, indicating that a modest increase in observational sensitivity (by a factor of ~2.5) may bring the first detections or first gravitational wave constraints on binary evolution. (iii) Stellar-origin massive BH–BH mergers should dominate event rates in advanced LIGO/Virgo and can be detected out to redshift z sime 2 with templates including inspiral, merger, and ringdown. Normal stars ($$\lt 150\;{M}_{\odot }$$) can produce such mergers with total redshifted mass up to $${M}_{{\rm{tot,z}}}\simeq 400\;{M}_{\odot }$$. (iv) High black hole (BH) natal kicks can severely limit the formation of massive BH–BH systems (both in isolated binary and in dynamical dense cluster evolution), and thus would eliminate detection of these systems even at full advanced LIGO/Virgo sensitivity. We find that low and high BH natal kicks are allowed by current observational electromagnetic constraints. (v) The majority of our models yield detections of all types of mergers (NS–NS, BH–NS, BH–BH) with advanced detectors. Numerous massive BH–BH merger detections will indicate small (if any) natal kicks for massive BHs.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [1] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [1]
  1. Warsaw Univ., Warsaw (Poland)
  2. Radboud Univ. Nijmegen, Nijmegen (The Netherlands)
  3. Univ. of Chicago, Chicago, IL (United States)
  4. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY (United States)
  5. Univ. of Mississippi, University, MS (United States); Univ. de Lisboa, Lisboa (Portugal)
  6. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: The Astrophysical Journal (Online); Journal Volume: 819; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; astronomy and astrophysics; binaries: close; gravitation; stars: evolution; stars: neutron
OSTI Identifier: