Gravitational-wave memory: Waveforms and phenomenology

Colm Talbot, Eric Thrane, Paul D. Lasky, Fuhui Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


The nonlinear gravitational-wave memory effect is a prediction of general relativity in which test masses are permanently displaced by gravitational radiation. We implement a method for calculating the expected memory waveform from an oscillatory gravitational-wave time series. We use this method to explore the phenomenology of gravitational-wave memory using a numerical relativity surrogate model. Previous methods of calculating the memory have considered only the dominant oscillatory (=2, m=|2|) mode in the spherical harmonic decomposition or the post-Newtonian expansion. We explore the contribution of higher-order modes and reveal a richer phenomenology than is apparent with =|m|=2 modes alone. We also consider the "memory of the memory" in which the memory is, itself, a source of memory, which leads to a small, O(10-4), correction to the memory waveform. The method is implemented in the python package GWMemory, which is made publicly available.

Original languageEnglish
Article number064031
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2018

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