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Publication . Article . Preprint . 2017

A Surrogate model of gravitational waveforms from numerical relativity simulations of precessing binary black hole mergers

Jonathan Blackman; Scott E. Field; Mark A. Scheel; Chad R. Galley; Daniel A. Hemberger; Patricia Schmidt; Rory Smith;
Open Access
Published: 02 Jan 2017
Publisher: American Physical Society
Country: United States

We present the first surrogate model for gravitational waveforms from the coalescence of precessing binary black holes. We call this surrogate model NRSur4d2s. Our methodology significantly extends recently introduced reduced-order and surrogate modeling techniques, and is capable of directly modeling numerical relativity waveforms without introducing phenomenological assumptions or approximations to general relativity. Motivated by GW150914, LIGO's first detection of gravitational waves from merging black holes, the model is built from a set of $276$ numerical relativity (NR) simulations with mass ratios $q \leq 2$, dimensionless spin magnitudes up to $0.8$, and the restriction that the initial spin of the smaller black hole lies along the axis of orbital angular momentum. It produces waveforms which begin $\sim 30$ gravitational wave cycles before merger and continue through ringdown, and which contain the effects of precession as well as all $\ell \in \{2, 3\}$ spin-weighted spherical-harmonic modes. We perform cross-validation studies to compare the model to NR waveforms \emph{not} used to build the model, and find a better agreement within the parameter range of the model than other, state-of-the-art precessing waveform models, with typical mismatches of $10^{-3}$. We also construct a frequency domain surrogate model (called NRSur4d2s_FDROM) which can be evaluated in $50\, \mathrm{ms}$ and is suitable for performing parameter estimation studies on gravitational wave detections similar to GW150914.

34 pages, 26 figures

Subjects by Vocabulary

arXiv: General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Binary black hole Numerical relativity Tests of general relativity Black hole Gravitational wave Gravitational redshift Gravitational-wave observatory General relativity Physics Classical mechanics


General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology, General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc), FOS: Physical sciences

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Funded byView all
  • Funder: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
NSF| Gravitational Radiation and Relativistic Astrophysics
  • Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Project Code: 1404569
  • Funding stream: Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences | Division of Physics
NSF| MRI: Acquisition of a High-Performance Computer Cluster for Gravitational-Wave Astronomy with Advanced LIGO
  • Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Project Code: 1429873
  • Funding stream: Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences | Division of Physics
NSF| MRI-R2: Acquisition of a Compute Cluster for High-Fidelity Simulations of Gravitational Wave Sources -- Facilitating LIGO and Enabling Multi-Messenger Astronomy
  • Funder: National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Project Code: 0960291
  • Funding stream: Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences | Division of Physics