LIGO Document T2200185-v1

Analyzing the Effective and Component Spin Distributions of Binary Black Hole Mergers

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T - Technical notes
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Gravitational wave (GW) observations of binary black hole (BBH) mergers provide measurements of BBH parameters such as mass and spin, which shed light on the evolutionary history of these systems. We explore the distribution of BBH spin on a population level through looking at different spin parametrizations. LIGO data currently provides strong constraints on effective spin, a mass weighted average of component spin projected in the direction of the angular momentum, while the component spins are weakly constrained for individual events. Through a Bayesian hierarchical inference approach, we explore whether we can differentiate synthetic populations with the same effective spin distributions but different component spin distributions. We explore these spin distributions for two different population sizes: one comparable to LIGO's third observing run (O3) and one comparable to the predicted population size after the next observing run (O4). This study demonstrates how current models of spin distribution will improve with O4.

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Documents from SURF22 student Zoe Ko, UC Berkeley

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