Probing the nonlinear structure of general relativity with black hole binaries

K. G. Arun, B. R. Iyer, M. S.S. Qusailah, B. S. Sathyaprakash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations

Abstract

Observations of the inspiral of massive binary black holes (BBH) in the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) and stellar mass binary black holes in the European Gravitational Wave Observatory (EGO) offer an unique opportunity to test the nonlinear structure of general relativity. For a binary composed of two nonspinning black holes, the nonlinear general relativistic effects depend only on the masses of the constituents. In a recent paper, we explored the possibility of a test to determine all the post-Newtonian coefficients in the gravitational wave phasing. However, mutual covariances dilute the effectiveness of such a test. In this paper, we propose a more powerful test in which the various post-Newtonian coefficients in the gravitational wave phasing are systematically measured by treating three of them as independent parameters and demanding their mutual consistency. LISA (EGO) will observe BBH inspirals with a signal-to-noise ratio of more than 1000 (100) and thereby test the self-consistency of each of the nine post-Newtonian coefficients that have so-far been computed, by measuring the lower order coefficients to a relative accuracy of ∼10-5 (respectively, ∼10-4) and the higher order coefficients to a relative accuracy in the range 10-4-0.1 (respectively, 10-3-1).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024006
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Volume74
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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