Measuring the spins of heavy binary black holes

Kavli Affiliate: Salvatore Vitale

| First 5 Authors: Sylvia Biscoveanu, Maximiliano Isi, Vijay Varma, Salvatore Vitale,

| Summary:

An accurate and precise measurement of the spins of individual merging black
holes is required to understand their origin. While previous studies have
indicated that most of the spin information comes from the inspiral part of the
signal, the informative spin measurement of the heavy binary black hole system
GW190521 suggests that the merger and ringdown can contribute significantly to
the spin constraints for such massive systems. We perform a systematic study
into the measurability of the spin parameters of individual heavy binary black
hole mergers using a numerical relativity surrogate waveform model including
the effects of both spin-induced precession and higher-order modes. We find
that the spin measurements are driven by the merger and ringdown parts of the
signal for GW190521-like systems, but the uncertainty in the measurement
increases with the total mass of the system. We are able to place meaningful
constraints on the spin parameters even for systems observed at moderate
signal-to-noise ratios, but the measurability depends on the exact
six-dimensional spin configuration of the system. Finally, we find that the
azimuthal angle between the in-plane projections of the component spin vectors
at a given reference frequency cannot be well-measured for most of our
simulated configurations even for signals observed with high signal-to-noise

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