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Measuring neutron star tidal deformability with Advanced LIGO: a Bayesian analysis of neutron star - black hole binary observations

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Pürrer,  Michael
Astrophysical and Cosmological Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

Pfeiffer,  Harald P.
Astrophysical and Cosmological Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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1610.06155.pdf
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Citation

Kumar, P., Pürrer, M., & Pfeiffer, H. P. (2017). Measuring neutron star tidal deformability with Advanced LIGO: a Bayesian analysis of neutron star - black hole binary observations. Physical Review D, 95: 044039. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.95.044039.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-3997-B
Abstract
The discovery of gravitational waves (GW) by Advanced LIGO has ushered us into an era of observational GW astrophysics. Compact binaries remain the primary target sources for LIGO, of which neutron star-black hole (NSBH) binaries form an important subset. GWs from NSBH sources carry signatures of (a) the tidal distortion of the neutron star by its companion black hole during inspiral, and (b) its potential tidal disruption near merger. In this paper, we present a Bayesian study of the measurability of neutron star tidal deformability $\Lambda_\mathrm{NS}\propto (R/M)^{5}$ using observation(s) of inspiral-merger GW signals from disruptive NSBH coalescences, taking into account the crucial effect of black hole spins. First, we find that if non-tidal templates are used to estimate source parameters for an NSBH signal, the bias introduced in the estimation of non-tidal physical parameters will only be significant for loud signals with signal-to-noise ratios greater than $30$. For similarly loud signals, we also find that we can begin to put interesting constraints on $\Lambda_\mathrm{NS}$ (factor of $1-2$) with individual observations. Next, we study how a population of realistic NSBH detections will improve our measurement of neutron star tidal deformability. For astrophysical populations of {\it disruptive} NSBH coalescences, we find that $20-35$ events are sufficient to constrain $\Lambda_\mathrm{NS}$ within $\pm 25-50\%$, depending on the neutron star equation of state. For these calculations we assume that LIGO will detect black holes with masses within the astrophysical {\it mass-gap}. In case the mass-gap remains preserved in NSBHs detected by LIGO, we estimate that approximately $25\%$ additional detections will furnish comparable $\Lambda_\mathrm{NS}$ measurement accuracy. We recommend that an effort to measure $\Lambda_\mathrm{NS}$ be planned for upcoming LIGO-Virgo observing runs.