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Journal Article

Effect of higher harmonic corrections on the detection of massive black hole binaries with LISA


Porter,  Edward K.
Laser Interferometry & Gravitational Wave Astronomy, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Porter, E. K., & Cornish, N. J. (2008). Effect of higher harmonic corrections on the detection of massive black hole binaries with LISA. Physical Review D, 78(6): 064005. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.78.064005.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-1397-F
Massive black hole binaries are key targets for the space based gravitational wave Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). Several studies have investigated how LISA observations could be used to constrain the parameters of these systems. Until recently, most of these studies have ignored the higher harmonic corrections to the waveforms. Here we analyze the effects of the higher harmonics in more detail by performing extensive Monte Carlo simulations. We pay particular attention to how the higher harmonics impact parameter correlations, and show that the additional harmonics help mitigate the impact of having two laser links fail, by allowing for an instantaneous measurement of the gravitational wave polarization with a single interferometer channel. By looking at parameter correlations we are able to explain why certain mass ratios provide dramatic improvements in certain parameter estimations, and illustrate how the improved polarization measurement improves the prospects for single interferometer operation.