Precession measurability in black hole binary coalescences

Wed 13 June, 2018 @12:00 PM, level 7
Dr. Grant David Meadors, Postdoctoral Researcher
Monash University

Email:  grant.meadors[at]


Rotating bodies precess, and black holes should be no exception. Black hole spin has so far been inferred largely from electromagnetic observations of surrounding matter. Gravitational-wave observations of coalescences can probe the spin and precession of the black holes themselves. Using a Bayesian parameter estimatin pipeline, we characterize a method for detecting evidence of precession. Precession might conceivably be seen in either high-signal-to-noise ratio events with favorably parameters, or in a statistical ensemble of many events. We use simulated events with numerical-relativity approximant waveforms to estimate the detectability of precession.