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  Observing intermediate-mass black holes and the upper--stellar-mass gap with LIGO and Virgo

Mehta, A. K., Buonanno, A., Gair, J., Miller, M. C., Farag, E., deBoer, R. J., et al. (2022). Observing intermediate-mass black holes and the upper--stellar-mass gap with LIGO and Virgo. The Astrophysical Journal, 924(1): 39. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ac3130.

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 Creators:
Mehta, Ajit Kumar1, Author              
Buonanno, Alessandra1, Author              
Gair, Jonathan1, Author              
Miller, M. Coleman, Author
Farag, Ebraheem, Author
deBoer, R. J., Author
Wiescher, M., Author
Timmes, F. X., Author
Affiliations:
1Astrophysical and Cosmological Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society, ou_1933290              

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Free keywords: General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology, gr-qc, Astrophysics, High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena, astro-ph.HE
 Abstract: Using ground-based gravitational-wave detectors, we probe the mass function of intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) wherein we also include BHs in the upper mass gap $\sim 60-130~M_\odot$. Employing the projected sensitivity of the upcoming LIGO and Virgo fourth observing (O4) run, we perform Bayesian analysis on quasi-circular non-precessing, spinning IMBH binaries (IMBHBs) with total masses $50\mbox{--} 500\, M_\odot$, mass ratios 1.25, 4, and 10, and dimensionless spins up to 0.95, and estimate the precision with which the source-frame parameters can be measured. We find that, at $2\sigma$, the mass of the heavier component of IMBHBs can be constrained with an uncertainty of $\sim 10-40\%$ at a signal-to-noise ratio of $20$. Focusing on the stellar-mass gap with new tabulations of the $^{12}\text{C}(\alpha, \gamma)^{16} \text{O}$ reaction rate and its uncertanties, we evolve massive helium core stars using \MESA\, to establish the lower and upper edge of the mass gap as $\simeq$\,59$^{+34}_{-13}$\,$M_{\odot}$ and $\simeq$\,139$^{+30}_{-14}$\,$M_{\odot}$ respectively, where the error bars give the mass range that follows from the $\pm 3\sigma$ uncertainty in the $^{12}\text{C}(\alpha, \gamma) ^{16} \text{O}$ nuclear reaction rate. We find that high resolution of the tabulated reaction rate and fine temporal resolution are necessary to resolve the peak of the BH mass spectrum. We then study IMBHBs with components lying in the mass gap and show that the O4 run will be able to robustly identify most such systems. Finally, we re-analyse GW190521 with a state-of-the-art aligned-spin waveform model, finding that the primary mass lies in the mass gap with 90\% credibility.

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 Dates: 2021-05-132021-10-192022
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 29 pages, 18 figures
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: arXiv: 2105.06366
DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ac3130
 Degree: -

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Title: The Astrophysical Journal
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 924 (1) Sequence Number: 39 Start / End Page: - Identifier: -