Model-independent inference on compact-binary observations

Ilya Mandel, Will M. Farr, Andrea Colonna, Simon Stevenson, Peter Tiňo, John Veitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The recent advanced LIGO detections of gravitational waves from merging binary black holes enhance the prospect of exploring binary evolution via gravitational-wave observations of a population of compact-object binaries. In the face of uncertainty about binary formation models, model-independent inference provides an appealing alternative to comparisons between observed and modelled populations. We describe a procedure for clustering in the multidimensional parameter space of observations that are subject to significant measurement errors. We apply this procedure to a mock data set of population-synthesis predictions for the masses of merging compact binaries convolved with realistic measurement uncertainties, and demonstrate that we can accurately distinguish subpopulations of binary neutron stars, binary black holes, and mixed neutron star-black hole binaries with tens of observations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3254-3260
Number of pages7
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume465
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • Binaries: close
  • Gravitational waves
  • Stars: black holes
  • Stars: neutron

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