Can we detect intermediate mass ratio inspirals?

Ilya Mandel, Jonathan R. Gair

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23 Citations (Scopus)


Gravitational waves emitted during intermediate-mass-ratio inspirals (IMRIs) of intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) into supermassive black holes could represent a very interesting source for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna. Similarly, IMRIs of stellar-mass compact objects into IMBHs could be detectable by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. At present, however, it is not clear what waveforms could be used for IMRI detection, since the post-Newtonian approximation breaks down as an IMRI approaches the innermost stable circular orbit, and perturbative solutions are only known to the lowest order in the mass ratio. We discuss the expected mismatches between approximate and true waveforms, and the choice of the best available waveform as a function of the mass ratio and the total mass of the system. We also comment on the significance of the spin of the smaller body and the need for its inclusion in the waveforms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number094036
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2009
Externally publishedYes

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