Distinguishing Gravitational Wave Parameter Markers: Eccentricity vs Precession

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Date

2023-09-28

Authors

Tibrewal, Snehal
Iglesias, Hector
Lange, Jacob
Ferguson, Deborah
Shoemaker, Deirdre

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When two massive accelerating objects collide, they generate ripples in the space-time continuum, referred to as gravitational waves (GWs). These GW signals can be detected by the LIGO detectors and provide us with information on the merging binary black holes (BBH). Our work aims to study the distinguishability between eccentricity and spin precession - two important parameters of a GW signal. There has been evidence of ambiguity when attempting a recovery of these parameters due to similarities in their GW markers. Since real data is limited and our knowledge is mostly biased by the accuracy of search pipelines, we are using injections that are signals from simulated BBH mergers. These simulated signals are obtained using numerical relativity (NR) and include both eccentricity and spin precession, something which previous studies haven't been able to mimic due to limitations of current day waveform models. TACC plays a central role in our ability to run these NR simulations. Without supercomputing resources like TACC, the computational complexity of solving Einstein's Field Equations can take months, or even years. We utilize our in-house NR code Maya-Waves to run simulations for various configurations. With these simulations, we are able to control the explorable parameter space as well as test the accuracy of our recovery pipelines. Additionally, these NR simulations will be highly advantageous to the future development of more accurate waveform models. Our preliminary results point towards possible issues with distinguishability, especially in certain parameter spaces. However we continue to run experiments to be able to comment more clearly on these bounds.

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