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#### Systematic Biases in Estimating the Properties of Black Holes Due to Inaccurate Gravitational-Wave Models

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##### Citation

Dhani, A., Völkel, S., Buonanno, A., Estellés Estrella, H., Gair, J., Pfeiffer, H., et al. (in preparation). Systematic Biases in Estimating the Properties of Black Holes Due to Inaccurate Gravitational-Wave Models.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000F-2877-F

##### Abstract

Gravitational-wave (GW) observations of binary black-hole (BBH) coalescences

are expected to address outstanding questions in astrophysics, cosmology, and

fundamental physics. Realizing the full discovery potential of upcoming

LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA (LVK) observing runs and new ground-based facilities hinges on

accurate waveform models. Using linear-signal approximation methods and

Bayesian analysis, we start to assess our readiness for what lies ahead using

two state-of-the-art quasi-circular, spin-precessing models:

\texttt{SEOBNRv5PHM} and \texttt{IMRPhenomXPHM}. We ascertain that current

waveforms can accurately recover the distribution of masses in the LVK

astrophysical population, but not spins. We find that systematic biases

increase with detector-frame total mass, binary asymmetry, and spin-precession,

with most such binaries incurring parameter biases, extending up to redshifts

$\sim3$ in future detectors. Furthermore, we examine three ``golden'' events

characterized by large mass ratios, significant spin magnitudes, and high

precession, evaluating how systematic biases may affect their scientific

outcomes. Our findings reveal that current waveforms fail to enable the

unbiased measurement of the Hubble-Lema\^itre parameter from loud signals, even

for current detectors. Moreover, highly asymmetric systems within the lower BH

mass-gap exhibit biased measurements of the secondary-companion mass, which

impacts the physics of both neutron stars and formation channels. Similarly, we

deduce that the primary mass of massive binaries ($ > 60 M_\odot$) will also be

biased, affecting supernova physics. Future progress in analytical calculations

and numerical-relativity simulations, crucial for calibrating the models, must

target regions of the parameter space with significant biases to develop more

accurate models. Only then can precision GW astronomy fulfill the promise it

holds.

are expected to address outstanding questions in astrophysics, cosmology, and

fundamental physics. Realizing the full discovery potential of upcoming

LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA (LVK) observing runs and new ground-based facilities hinges on

accurate waveform models. Using linear-signal approximation methods and

Bayesian analysis, we start to assess our readiness for what lies ahead using

two state-of-the-art quasi-circular, spin-precessing models:

\texttt{SEOBNRv5PHM} and \texttt{IMRPhenomXPHM}. We ascertain that current

waveforms can accurately recover the distribution of masses in the LVK

astrophysical population, but not spins. We find that systematic biases

increase with detector-frame total mass, binary asymmetry, and spin-precession,

with most such binaries incurring parameter biases, extending up to redshifts

$\sim3$ in future detectors. Furthermore, we examine three ``golden'' events

characterized by large mass ratios, significant spin magnitudes, and high

precession, evaluating how systematic biases may affect their scientific

outcomes. Our findings reveal that current waveforms fail to enable the

unbiased measurement of the Hubble-Lema\^itre parameter from loud signals, even

for current detectors. Moreover, highly asymmetric systems within the lower BH

mass-gap exhibit biased measurements of the secondary-companion mass, which

impacts the physics of both neutron stars and formation channels. Similarly, we

deduce that the primary mass of massive binaries ($ > 60 M_\odot$) will also be

biased, affecting supernova physics. Future progress in analytical calculations

and numerical-relativity simulations, crucial for calibrating the models, must

target regions of the parameter space with significant biases to develop more

accurate models. Only then can precision GW astronomy fulfill the promise it

holds.