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      Binary Black Hole Mergers in the first Advanced LIGO Observing Run

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          Abstract

          The first observational run of the Advanced LIGO detectors, from September 12, 2015 to January 19, 2016, saw the first detections of gravitational waves from binary black hole mergers. In this paper we present full results from a search for binary black hole merger signals with total masses up to \(100 M_\odot\) and detailed implications from our observations of these systems. Our search, based on general-relativistic models of gravitational wave signals from binary black hole systems, unambiguously identified two signals, GW150914 and GW151226, with a significance of greater than \(5\sigma\) over the observing period. It also identified a third possible signal, LVT151012, with substantially lower significance, which has a 87% probability of being of astrophysical origin. We provide detailed estimates of the parameters of the observed systems. Both GW150914 and GW151226 provide an unprecedented opportunity to study the two-body motion of a compact-object binary in the large velocity, highly nonlinear regime. We do not observe any deviations from general relativity, and place improved empirical bounds on several high-order post-Newtonian coefficients. From our observations we infer stellar-mass binary black hole merger rates lying in the range \(9-240 \mathrm{Gpc}^{-3} \mathrm{yr}^{-1}\). These observations are beginning to inform astrophysical predictions of binary black hole formation rates, and indicate that future observing runs of the Advanced detector network will yield many more gravitational wave detections.

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            Electromagnetic extraction of energy from Kerr black holes

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              Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger

              On September 14, 2015 at 09:50:45 UTC the two detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory simultaneously observed a transient gravitational-wave signal. The signal sweeps upwards in frequency from 35 to 250 Hz with a peak gravitational-wave strain of \(1.0 \times 10^{-21}\). It matches the waveform predicted by general relativity for the inspiral and merger of a pair of black holes and the ringdown of the resulting single black hole. The signal was observed with a matched-filter signal-to-noise ratio of 24 and a false alarm rate estimated to be less than 1 event per 203 000 years, equivalent to a significance greater than 5.1 {\sigma}. The source lies at a luminosity distance of \(410^{+160}_{-180}\) Mpc corresponding to a redshift \(z = 0.09^{+0.03}_{-0.04}\). In the source frame, the initial black hole masses are \(36^{+5}_{-4} M_\odot\) and \(29^{+4}_{-4} M_\odot\), and the final black hole mass is \(62^{+4}_{-4} M_\odot\), with \(3.0^{+0.5}_{-0.5} M_\odot c^2\) radiated in gravitational waves. All uncertainties define 90% credible intervals.These observations demonstrate the existence of binary stellar-mass black hole systems. This is the first direct detection of gravitational waves and the first observation of a binary black hole merger.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                2016-06-15
                2016-06-22
                1606.04856 10.1103/PhysRevX.6.041015

                http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

                Custom metadata
                LIGO-P1600088
                Phys. Rev. X 6, 041015 (2016)
                15 pages + 4 appendices, 12 figures; updated author list and references
                gr-qc astro-ph.CO
                Lvc Publications

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