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Journal Article

Length requirements for numerical-relativity waveforms


Husa,  Sascha
Astrophysical Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

Ohme,  Frank
Astrophysical Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Hannam, M., Husa, S., Ohme, F., & Ajith, P. (2010). Length requirements for numerical-relativity waveforms. Physical Review D., 82: 124052. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.82.124052.

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One way to produce complete inspiral-merger-ringdown gravitational waveforms from black-hole-binary systems is to connect post-Newtonian (PN) and numerical-relativity (NR) results to create ``hybrid'' waveforms. Hybrid waveforms are central to the construction of some phenomenological models for GW search templates, and for tests of GW search pipelines. The dominant error source in hybrid waveforms arises from the PN contribution, and can be reduced by increasing the number of NR GW cycles that are included in the hybrid. Hybrid waveforms are considered sufficiently accurate for GW detection if their mismatch error is below 3% (i.e., a fitting factor about 0.97). We address the question of the length requirements of NR waveforms such that the final hybrid waveforms meet this requirement, considering nonspinning binaries with q = M_2/M_1 \in [1,4] and equal-mass binaries with \chi = S_i/M_i^2 \in [-0.5,0.5]. We conclude that for the cases we study simulations must contain between three (in the equal-mass nonspinning case) and ten (the \chi = 0.5 case) orbits before merger, but there is also evidence that these are the regions of parameter space for which the least number of cycles will be needed.