Observation of Gravitational Waves from A Binary Black Hole Merger
On September 14, 2015 at 09:50:45 UTC the two detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory simultaneously observed a transient gravitational-wave signal. The signal sweeps upwards in frequency from 35 to 250 Hz with a peak gravitational-wave strain of 1.0×10-21. It matches the waveform predicted by general relativity for the inspiral and merger of a pair of black holes and the ringdown of the resulting single black hole. The signal was observed with a matched-filter signal-to-noise ratio of 24 and a false alarm rate estimated to be less than 1 event per 203 000 years, equivalent to a significance greater than 5.1σ. The source lies at a luminosity distance of 410-180+160 Mpc corresponding to a redshift z=0.09-0.04+0.03. In the source frame, the initial black hole masses are 36-4+5M⊙ and 29-4+4M⊙, and the final black hole mass is 62-4+4M⊙, with 3.0-0.5+0.5M⊙c2 radiated in gravitational waves. All uncertainties define 90% credible intervals. These observations demonstrate the existence of binary stellar-mass black hole systems. This is the first direct detection of gravitational waves and the first observation of a binary black hole merger.
MSU Digital Commons Citation
Abbott, B. P.; Abbott, R.; Abbott, T. D.; Abernathy, M. R.; Acernese, F.; Ackley, K.; Adams, C.; Adams, T.; Addesso, P.; Adhikari, R. X.; Adya, V. B.; Affeldt, C.; Agathos, M.; Agatsuma, K.; Aggarwal, N.; Aguiar, O. D.; Aiello, L.; Ain, A.; Ajith, P.; Allen, B.; Allocca, A.; Altin, P. A.; Anderson, S. B.; Anderson, W. G.; Arai, K.; Arain, M. A.; Araya, M. C.; Arceneaux, C. C.; Areeda, J. S.; and Arnaud, N., "Observation of Gravitational Waves from A Binary Black Hole Merger" (2016). Department of Physics and Astronomy Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works. 92.