LIGO Document T2000350-v21

Detectability of Nonlinear Gravitational Wave Memory

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T - Technical notes
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Abstract Gravitational waves passing through a region of spacetime leave behind a permanent distortion, with strain typically on the order of 1e-23, the so-called memory effect. Linear and nonlinear components exist in gravitational wave memory, the latter appearing as a non-oscillatory, cumulative signal. Current gravitational wave detectors have not yet been able to reliably detect and isolate this low-frequency, nonlinear component which skews the numerical inferences of gravitational wave source parameters. Because this effect is cumulative, it is non-negligible, and its non-oscillatory nature distinguishes it from the rest of the waveform, making it detectable, in theory. Though previous studies have quantified and suggested improvements for the detectability of nonlinear memory, more templates and new data are available than ever before. In this project, we apply Bayesian parameter estimation to simulated gravitational waves from compact binary coalescences with memory to determine nonlinear memory detectability.
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