Implications of Binary Black Hole Detections on the Merger Rates of Double Neutron Stars and Neutron Star-Black Holes

Anuradha Gupta, K. G. Arun, B. S. Sathyaprakash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We show that the inferred merger rate and chirp masses of binary black holes (BBHs) detected by advanced LIGO (aLIGO) can be used to constrain the rate of double neutron star (DNS) and neutron star-black hole (NSBH) mergers in the universe. We explicitly demonstrate this by considering a set of publicly available population synthesis models of Dominik et al. and show that if all the BBH mergers, GW150914, LVT151012, GW151226, and GW170104, observed by aLIGO arise from isolated binary evolution, the predicted DNS merger rate may be constrained to be 2.3-471.0 Gpc-3yr-1 and that of NSBH mergers will be constrained to 0.2-48.5 Gpc-3 yr-1. The DNS merger rates are not constrained much, but the NSBH rates are tightened by a factor of ∼4 as compared to their previous rates. Note that these constrained DNS and NSBH rates are extremely model-dependent and are compared to the unconstrained values 2.3-472.5 Gpc-3yr-1 and 0.2-218 Gpc-3 yr-1, respectively, using the same models of Dominik et al. (2012a). These rate estimates may have implications for short Gamma Ray Burst progenitor models assuming they are powered (solely) by DNS or NSBH mergers. While these results are based on a set of open access population synthesis models, which may not necessarily be the representative ones, the proposed method is very general and can be applied to any number of models, thereby yielding more realistic constraints on the DNS and NSBH merger rates from the inferred BBH merger rate and chirp mass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL14
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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