Weak lensing effects in the measurement of the dark energy equation of state with LISA

Chris Van Den Broeck, M. Trias, B. S. Sathyaprakash, A. M. Sintes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna's (LISA's) observation of supermassive binary black holes (SMBBH) could provide a new tool for precision cosmography. Inclusion of subdominant signal harmonics in the inspiral signal allows for high-accuracy sky localization, dramatically improving the chances of finding the host galaxy and obtaining its redshift. A SMBBH merger can potentially have component masses from a wide range (105-108M) over which parameter accuracies vary considerably. We perform an in-depth study in order to understand (i) what fraction of possible SMBBH mergers allow for sky localization, depending on the parameters of the source, and (ii) how accurately w can be measured when the host galaxy can be identified. We also investigate how accuracies on all parameters improve when a knowledge of the sky position can be folded into the estimation of errors. We find that w can be measured to within a few percent in most cases, if the only error in measuring the luminosity distance is due to LISA's instrumental noise and the confusion background from Galactic binaries. However, weak lensing-induced errors will severely degrade the accuracy with which w can be obtained, emphasizing that methods to mitigate weak lensing effects would be required to take advantage of LISA's full potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number124031
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 11 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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