LIGO Document T2000363-v1

Do Binary Black Hole Merger Events Observed by LIGO and Virgo in their Third Observing Run Agree with Waveforms from General Relativity? A Study of Residuals

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We present the study of fitness of General Relativity-predicted waveform models to binary black hole signal data from LIGO and Virgo’s third observing run (O3). The data series observed by LIGO and V irgo are composed of both a merger signal and instrumental noise. Our hypothesis is that, should a waveform template predicted by General Relativity be fitted to approximate the merger signal then subtracted from the data series, what should be left over is a residual made up of pure instrumental noise. Thus, our objective is to determine if GR waveform templates accurately model O3 binary black hole signal data by creating a digital signal processing script that will derive a best fit waveform template from event parameters, subtract the template from the event data series, and then run a variety of statistical tests on the resulting residual to determine no residual signal remains.
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SURF 2020 project, Erin Wilson, Spelman College

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