Measuring gravitational-wave memory in the first LIGO/Virgo gravitational-wave transient catalog

Moritz Hübner, Colm Talbot, Paul D. Lasky, Eric Thrane

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Gravitational-wave memory, a strong-field effect of general relativity, manifests itself as a permanent displacement in spacetime. We develop a Bayesian framework to detect gravitational-wave memory with the Advanced LIGO/Virgo detector network. We apply this algorithm on the ten binary black hole mergers in LIGO/Virgo's first transient gravitational-wave catalog. We find no evidence of memory, which is consistent with expectations. In order to estimate when memory will be detected, we use the best current population estimates to construct a realistic sample of binary black hole observations for LIGO/Virgo at design sensitivity. We show that an ensemble of O(2000) binary black hole observations can be used to find definitive evidence for gravitational-wave memory. We conclude that memory is likely to be detected in the early A+/Virgo+era.

Original languageEnglish
Article number023011
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2020

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