Improved gravitational waveforms from spinning black hole binaries

Edward K. Porter, B. S. Sathyaprakash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The standard post-Newtonian approximation to gravitational waveforms, called T-approximants, from nonspinning black hole binaries are known not to be sufficiently accurate close to the last stable orbit of the system. A new approximation, called P-approximants, is believed to improve the accuracy of the waveforms rendering them applicable up to the last stable orbit. In this study we apply P-approximants to the case of a test particle in equatorial orbit around a Kerr black hole parameterized by a spin-parameter q that takes values between -1 and 1. In order to assess the performance of the two approximants we measure their effectualness (i.e., larger overlaps with the exact signal), and faithfulness (i.e., smaller biases while measuring the parameters of the signal) with the exact (numerical) waveforms. We find that in the case of prograde orbits, that is orbits whose angular momentum is in the same sense as the spin angular momentum of the black hole, T-approximant templates obtain an effectualness of ∼0.99 for spins q ≲ 0.75. For 0.75 < q < 0.95, the effectualness drops to about 0.82. The P-approximants achieve effectualness of >0.99 for all spins up to q = 0.95. The bias in the estimation of parameters is much lower in the case of P-approximants than T-approximants. We find that P-approximants are both effectual and faithful and should be more effective than T-approximants as a detection template family when q > 0. For q < 0 both T- and P-approximants perform equally well so that either of them could be used as a detection template family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024017
Pages (from-to)024017-1-024017-20
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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