Tests of General Relativity with GW150914

(LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

510 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The LIGO detection of GW150914 provides an unprecedented opportunity to study the two-body motion of a compact-object binary in the large-velocity, highly nonlinear regime, and to witness the final merger of the binary and the excitation of uniquely relativistic modes of the gravitational field. We carry out several investigations to determine whether GW150914 is consistent with a binary black-hole merger in general relativity. We find that the final remnant's mass and spin, as determined from the low-frequency (inspiral) and high-frequency (postinspiral) phases of the signal, are mutually consistent with the binary black-hole solution in general relativity. Furthermore, the data following the peak of GW150914 are consistent with the least-damped quasinormal mode inferred from the mass and spin of the remnant black hole. By using waveform models that allow for parametrized general-relativity violations during the inspiral and merger phases, we perform quantitative tests on the gravitational-wave phase in the dynamical regime and we determine the first empirical bounds on several high-order post-Newtonian coefficients. We constrain the graviton Compton wavelength, assuming that gravitons are dispersed in vacuum in the same way as particles with mass, obtaining a 90%-confidence lower bound of 1013 km. In conclusion, within our statistical uncertainties, we find no evidence for violations of general relativity in the genuinely strong-field regime of gravity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number221101
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume116
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - 31 May 2016

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relativity
gravitons
LIGO (observatory)
gravitational waves
gravitational fields
confidence
waveforms
gravitation
low frequencies
vacuum
coefficients
wavelengths
excitation

Cite this

(LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations) (2016). Tests of General Relativity with GW150914. Physical Review Letters, 116(22), [221101]. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.221101
(LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations). / Tests of General Relativity with GW150914. In: Physical Review Letters. 2016 ; Vol. 116, No. 22.
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abstract = "The LIGO detection of GW150914 provides an unprecedented opportunity to study the two-body motion of a compact-object binary in the large-velocity, highly nonlinear regime, and to witness the final merger of the binary and the excitation of uniquely relativistic modes of the gravitational field. We carry out several investigations to determine whether GW150914 is consistent with a binary black-hole merger in general relativity. We find that the final remnant's mass and spin, as determined from the low-frequency (inspiral) and high-frequency (postinspiral) phases of the signal, are mutually consistent with the binary black-hole solution in general relativity. Furthermore, the data following the peak of GW150914 are consistent with the least-damped quasinormal mode inferred from the mass and spin of the remnant black hole. By using waveform models that allow for parametrized general-relativity violations during the inspiral and merger phases, we perform quantitative tests on the gravitational-wave phase in the dynamical regime and we determine the first empirical bounds on several high-order post-Newtonian coefficients. We constrain the graviton Compton wavelength, assuming that gravitons are dispersed in vacuum in the same way as particles with mass, obtaining a 90{\%}-confidence lower bound of 1013 km. In conclusion, within our statistical uncertainties, we find no evidence for violations of general relativity in the genuinely strong-field regime of gravity.",
author = "{(LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations)} and Abbott, {B. P.} and R. Abbott and Abbott, {T. D.} and Abernathy, {M. R.} and F. Acernese and K. Ackley and C. Adams and T. Adams and P. Addesso and Adhikari, {R. X.} and Adya, {V. B.} and C. Affeldt and M. Agathos and K. Agatsuma and N. Aggarwal and Aguiar, {O. D.} and L. Aiello and A. Ain and P. Ajith and B. Allen and A. Allocca and Altin, {P. A.} and Anderson, {S. B.} and Anderson, {W. G.} and K. Arai and Araya, {M. C.} and Arceneaux, {C. C.} and Areeda, {J. S.} and N. Arnaud and Arun, {K. G.} and S. Ascenzi and G. Ashton and M. Ast and Aston, {S. M.} and P. Astone and P. Aufmuth and C. Aulbert and S. Babak and P. Bacon and Bader, {M. K.M.} and Baker, {P. T.} and F. Baldaccini and G. Ballardin and Ballmer, {S. W.} and Barayoga, {J. C.} and Barclay, {S. E.} and Barish, {B. C.} and D. Barker and F. Barone and B. Barr",
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(LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations) 2016, 'Tests of General Relativity with GW150914', Physical Review Letters, vol. 116, no. 22, 221101. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.221101

Tests of General Relativity with GW150914. / (LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations).

In: Physical Review Letters, Vol. 116, No. 22, 221101, 31.05.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Tests of General Relativity with GW150914

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AU - Abernathy, M. R.

AU - Acernese, F.

AU - Ackley, K.

AU - Adams, C.

AU - Adams, T.

AU - Addesso, P.

AU - Adhikari, R. X.

AU - Adya, V. B.

AU - Affeldt, C.

AU - Agathos, M.

AU - Agatsuma, K.

AU - Aggarwal, N.

AU - Aguiar, O. D.

AU - Aiello, L.

AU - Ain, A.

AU - Ajith, P.

AU - Allen, B.

AU - Allocca, A.

AU - Altin, P. A.

AU - Anderson, S. B.

AU - Anderson, W. G.

AU - Arai, K.

AU - Araya, M. C.

AU - Arceneaux, C. C.

AU - Areeda, J. S.

AU - Arnaud, N.

AU - Arun, K. G.

AU - Ascenzi, S.

AU - Ashton, G.

AU - Ast, M.

AU - Aston, S. M.

AU - Astone, P.

AU - Aufmuth, P.

AU - Aulbert, C.

AU - Babak, S.

AU - Bacon, P.

AU - Bader, M. K.M.

AU - Baker, P. T.

AU - Baldaccini, F.

AU - Ballardin, G.

AU - Ballmer, S. W.

AU - Barayoga, J. C.

AU - Barclay, S. E.

AU - Barish, B. C.

AU - Barker, D.

AU - Barone, F.

AU - Barr, B.

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N2 - The LIGO detection of GW150914 provides an unprecedented opportunity to study the two-body motion of a compact-object binary in the large-velocity, highly nonlinear regime, and to witness the final merger of the binary and the excitation of uniquely relativistic modes of the gravitational field. We carry out several investigations to determine whether GW150914 is consistent with a binary black-hole merger in general relativity. We find that the final remnant's mass and spin, as determined from the low-frequency (inspiral) and high-frequency (postinspiral) phases of the signal, are mutually consistent with the binary black-hole solution in general relativity. Furthermore, the data following the peak of GW150914 are consistent with the least-damped quasinormal mode inferred from the mass and spin of the remnant black hole. By using waveform models that allow for parametrized general-relativity violations during the inspiral and merger phases, we perform quantitative tests on the gravitational-wave phase in the dynamical regime and we determine the first empirical bounds on several high-order post-Newtonian coefficients. We constrain the graviton Compton wavelength, assuming that gravitons are dispersed in vacuum in the same way as particles with mass, obtaining a 90%-confidence lower bound of 1013 km. In conclusion, within our statistical uncertainties, we find no evidence for violations of general relativity in the genuinely strong-field regime of gravity.

AB - The LIGO detection of GW150914 provides an unprecedented opportunity to study the two-body motion of a compact-object binary in the large-velocity, highly nonlinear regime, and to witness the final merger of the binary and the excitation of uniquely relativistic modes of the gravitational field. We carry out several investigations to determine whether GW150914 is consistent with a binary black-hole merger in general relativity. We find that the final remnant's mass and spin, as determined from the low-frequency (inspiral) and high-frequency (postinspiral) phases of the signal, are mutually consistent with the binary black-hole solution in general relativity. Furthermore, the data following the peak of GW150914 are consistent with the least-damped quasinormal mode inferred from the mass and spin of the remnant black hole. By using waveform models that allow for parametrized general-relativity violations during the inspiral and merger phases, we perform quantitative tests on the gravitational-wave phase in the dynamical regime and we determine the first empirical bounds on several high-order post-Newtonian coefficients. We constrain the graviton Compton wavelength, assuming that gravitons are dispersed in vacuum in the same way as particles with mass, obtaining a 90%-confidence lower bound of 1013 km. In conclusion, within our statistical uncertainties, we find no evidence for violations of general relativity in the genuinely strong-field regime of gravity.

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JF - Physical Review Letters

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(LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations). Tests of General Relativity with GW150914. Physical Review Letters. 2016 May 31;116(22). 221101. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.221101