Spotting black holes can be tricky, but now, there is a faster and more accurate way to assess gravitational wave signals and infer the astronomical sources that made them. The method, developed by Rochester Institute of Technology professors, directly compares data from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory to cutting-edge numerical simulations of binary black holes, including simulations performed at RIT. Also Read - National Science Day: Top 5 AR apps available on Apple's App Store to learn scienceAlso Read - Facebook for Android will soon get dark mode and coronavirus tracking feature
The LIGO Scientific Collaboration reanalyzed the first gravitational wave detections using this method. Insights from these simulations indicate that the first detected black holes were slightly more similar in mass than previously thought. “It is the first time numerical simulations of binary black holes are used directly to estimate the parameters of a binary and, in this paper, it is proved that this can be done to the highest accuracy,” co-author Carlos Lousto said.
A validation study of the method is being done by researcher Jacob Lange. “Our approach compares wave forms directly to numerical relativity simulations to reanalyze the first gravitational wave detection,” he said. The study has been presented at the Gravitational Wave Physics and Astronomy Workshop in Cape Cod, Mass.