Effect of eccentricity on binary neutron star searches in advanced LIGO

E. A. Huerta, Duncan A. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Binary neutron stars (BNSs) are the primary source of gravitational waves for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and its international partners Virgo and KAGRA. Current BNS searches target field binaries whose orbits will have circularized by radiation reaction before their gravitational waves enter the advanced LIGO sensitive band at 15 Hz. It has been suggested that a population of BNSs may form by n-body interactions near supermassive black holes or in globular clusters and that these systems may have non-negligible eccentricity in the advanced LIGO band. We show that for BNS systems with total mass of 2.4M⊙ (6M ⊙), the effect of eccentricity eâ‰0.02 (0.05) is negligible and a circular search is effectual for these binaries. For eccentricities up to e=0.4, we investigate the selection bias caused by neglecting eccentricity in BNS searches. If such high eccentricity systems exist, searches that specifically target eccentric binaries will be needed in advanced LIGO and Virgo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number127501
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 7 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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