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Title: Observational tests of the black hole area increase law

Abstract

The black hole area theorem implies that when two black holes merge, the area of the final black hole should be greater than the sum of the areas of the two original black holes. In this study, we examine how this prediction can be tested with gravitational-wave observations of binary black holes. By separately fitting the early inspiral and final ringdown stages, we calculate the posterior distributions for the masses and spins of the two initial and the final black holes. This yields posterior distributions for the change in the area and thus a statistical test of the validity of the area increase law. We illustrate this method with a GW150914-like binary black hole waveform calculated using numerical relativity, and detector sensitivities representative of both the first observing run and the design configuration of Advanced LIGO. We obtain a ~74.6 % probability that the simulated signal is consistent with the area theorem with current sensitivity, improving to ~99.9 % when Advanced LIGO reaches design sensitivity. Lastly, an important ingredient in our test is a method of estimating when the postmerger signal is well fit by a damped sinusoid ringdown waveform.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute), Hannover (Germany); Leibniz Universität Hannover (Germany)
  2. Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute), Hannover (Germany); Leibniz Universität Hannover (Germany); Rochester Institute of Technology, NY (United States)
  3. Syracuse Univ., NY (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1484646
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-18-24294
Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0010; PRVDAQ
Grant/Contract Number:  
89233218CNA000001
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review D
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 97; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0010
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS

Citation Formats

Cabero, Miriam, Capano, Collin D., Fischer-Birnholtz, Ofek, Krishnan, Badri, Nielsen, Alex B., Nitz, Alexander H., and Biwer, Christopher Michael. Observational tests of the black hole area increase law. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.97.124069.
Cabero, Miriam, Capano, Collin D., Fischer-Birnholtz, Ofek, Krishnan, Badri, Nielsen, Alex B., Nitz, Alexander H., & Biwer, Christopher Michael. Observational tests of the black hole area increase law. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.97.124069.
Cabero, Miriam, Capano, Collin D., Fischer-Birnholtz, Ofek, Krishnan, Badri, Nielsen, Alex B., Nitz, Alexander H., and Biwer, Christopher Michael. Thu . "Observational tests of the black hole area increase law". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.97.124069. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1484646.
@article{osti_1484646,
title = {Observational tests of the black hole area increase law},
author = {Cabero, Miriam and Capano, Collin D. and Fischer-Birnholtz, Ofek and Krishnan, Badri and Nielsen, Alex B. and Nitz, Alexander H. and Biwer, Christopher Michael},
abstractNote = {The black hole area theorem implies that when two black holes merge, the area of the final black hole should be greater than the sum of the areas of the two original black holes. In this study, we examine how this prediction can be tested with gravitational-wave observations of binary black holes. By separately fitting the early inspiral and final ringdown stages, we calculate the posterior distributions for the masses and spins of the two initial and the final black holes. This yields posterior distributions for the change in the area and thus a statistical test of the validity of the area increase law. We illustrate this method with a GW150914-like binary black hole waveform calculated using numerical relativity, and detector sensitivities representative of both the first observing run and the design configuration of Advanced LIGO. We obtain a ~74.6 % probability that the simulated signal is consistent with the area theorem with current sensitivity, improving to ~99.9 % when Advanced LIGO reaches design sensitivity. Lastly, an important ingredient in our test is a method of estimating when the postmerger signal is well fit by a damped sinusoid ringdown waveform.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevD.97.124069},
journal = {Physical Review D},
number = 12,
volume = 97,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {6}
}

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    Testing the nature of dark compact objects: a status report
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    Empirical tests of the black hole no-hair conjecture using gravitational-wave observations
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    Observational black hole spectroscopy: A time-domain multimode analysis of GW150914
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