Comparative efficiency and parameter recovery of spin aligned templates for compact binary coalescence detection



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Compact binary coalescing systems: binary neutron stars, neutron star black hole pairs and binary black hole systems, represent promising candidates for gravitational wave first detection and have the potential to provide precise tests of the strong-field predictions of general relativity. Observations of binary black hole (BBH) systems will provide a wealth of information relevant to fundamental physics, astrophysics and cosmology. The search for such systems is a major priority of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo collaborations. A major area of research within LIGO-Virgo analysis groups is incorporation of spin into the search template banks used for binary black hole systems. In this dissertation, I compare the injection efficiency and parameter recovery from three binary black hole searches. One of the searches presented here uses non-spinning templates and represents the standard LIGO search for binary black holes with total masses between 35 and 100M[circle with dot]. The other two use spin aligned and anti-aligned templates representing a future search for black hole binary systems with total masses between 35-100M[circle with dot]. One of the two spinning searches has the spin parameter set to zero, nonspinning, as a check of the spinning method. (Additionally the (anti-)aligned spin searches use a retooling of the standard pipeline taking advantage of a code base designed specifically to handle Advanced LIGO data.) All three searches were run on artificial data created by the Numerical Injection Analysis 2 collaboration (NINJA2) containing Gaussian noise and numerically generated signals modeling aligned and anti-aligned spinning binary black holes. I found that for the analyzed two weeks of data the three searches recover injections with nearly equal efficiency; however, the spinning search recovers the parameters of the injections more accurately than the non-spinning search. Specifically, the parameter recovery of the spins shows a correlation between the injected and recovered spins, and the addition of spin to the template bank improves the recovery of the signal-to-noise ratio and the chirp mass for an injected signal. While spin aligned situations are geometrically low probability configurations, there are plausible astrophysical effects that lead to alignment of spins prior to merger. Therefore my results show that the spin-aligned template bank search represents an improvement on the standard non-spinning search in the highmass region and should be pursued on real data.