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Journal Article

Comparison of post-Newtonian templates for compact binary inspiral signals in gravitational-wave detectors


Buonanno,  Alessandra
Astrophysical and Cosmological Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;
Maryland Center for Fundamental Physics, Department of Physics, University of Maryland;

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Buonanno, A., Iyer, B., Ochsner, E., Pan, Y., & Sathyaprakash, B. S. (2009). Comparison of post-Newtonian templates for compact binary inspiral signals in gravitational-wave detectors. Physical Review D, 80: 084043. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.80.084043.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0015-84A3-8
The two-body dynamics in general relativity has been solved perturbatively using the post-Newtonian (PN) approximation. The evolution of the orbital phase and the emitted gravitational radiation are now known to a rather high order up to O(v^8), v being the characteristic velocity of the binary. The orbital evolution, however, cannot be specified uniquely due to the inherent freedom in the choice of parameter used in the PN expansion as well as the method pursued in solving the relevant differential equations. The goal of this paper is to determine the (dis)agreement between different PN waveform families in the context of initial and advanced gravitational-wave detectors. The waveforms employed in our analysis are those that are currently used by Initial LIGO/Virgo, that is the time-domain PN models TaylorT1, TaylorT2, TaylorT3, TaylorT4 and TaylorEt, the effective one-body (EOB) model, and the Fourier-domain representation TaylorF2. We examine the overlaps of these models with one another and with the prototype effective one-body model (calibrated to numerical relativity simulations, as currently used by initial LIGO) for a number of different binaries at 2PN, 3PN and 3.5PN orders to quantify their differences and to help us decide whether there exist preferred families that are the most appropriate as search templates. We conclude that as long as the total mass remains less than a certain upper limit M_crit, all template families at 3.5PN order (except TaylorT3 and TaylorEt) are equally good for the purpose of detection. The value of M_crit is found to be ~ 12M_Sun for Initial, Enhanced and Advanced LIGO. From a purely computational point of view we recommend that 3.5PN TaylorF2 be used below Mcrit and EOB calibrated to numerical relativity simulations be used for total binary mass M > Mcrit.