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Higher harmonics increase LISA’s mass reach for supermassive black holes

Arun, KG and Iyer, Bala R and Sathyaprakash, BS and Sinha, Siddhartha (2007) Higher harmonics increase LISA’s mass reach for supermassive black holes. In: Physical Review D, 75 (12). 124002-1-124002-11.

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Current expectations on the signal-to-noise ratios and masses of supermassive black holes which the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) can observe are based on using in matched filtering only the dominant harmonic of the inspiral waveform at twice the orbital frequency. Other harmonics will affect the signal-to-noise ratio of systems currently believed to be observable by LISA. More significantly, inclusion of other harmonics in our matched filters would mean that more massive systems that were previously thought to be not visible in LISA should be detectable with reasonable SNRs. Our estimates show that we should be able to significantly increase the mass reach of LISA and observe the more commonly occurring supermassive black holes of masses $\sim 10^8 M_\bigodot$. More specifically, with the inclusion of all known harmonics LISAwill be able to observe even supermassive black hole coalescences with total mass $\sim 10^8 M_\bigodot$ $(\sim 10^9 M_\bigodot)$(and mass ratio 0.1) for a low frequency cutoff of $10^{-4} Hz (10^{-5} Hz)$ with an SNR up to $\sim 60$ $(\sim 30)$ at a distance of 3 Gpc. This is important from the astrophysical viewpoint since observational evidence for the existence of black holes in this mass range is quite strong and binaries containing such supermassive black holes will be inaccessible to LISA if one uses as detection templates only the dominant harmonic.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Physical Review D
Publisher: The American Physical Society
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to The American Physical Society.
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2008
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:45
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/14173

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