Author

# Matthew Abernathy

Other affiliations: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, United States Naval Research Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Bio: Matthew Abernathy is an academic researcher from American University. The author has contributed to research in topic(s): Gravitational wave & LIGO. The author has an hindex of 42, co-authored 76 publication(s) receiving 17886 citation(s). Previous affiliations of Matthew Abernathy include Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory & United States Naval Research Laboratory.

Topics: Gravitational wave, LIGO, Binary black hole, Neutron star, GW151226

##### Papers

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B. P. Abbott

^{1}, Richard J. Abbott^{1}, T. D. Abbott^{2}, Matthew Abernathy^{1}+1008 more•Institutions (96)TL;DR: This is the first direct detection of gravitational waves and the first observation of a binary black hole merger, and these observations demonstrate the existence of binary stellar-mass black hole systems.

Abstract: On September 14, 2015 at 09:50:45 UTC the two detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory simultaneously observed a transient gravitational-wave signal. The signal sweeps upwards in frequency from 35 to 250 Hz with a peak gravitational-wave strain of $1.0 \times 10^{-21}$. It matches the waveform predicted by general relativity for the inspiral and merger of a pair of black holes and the ringdown of the resulting single black hole. The signal was observed with a matched-filter signal-to-noise ratio of 24 and a false alarm rate estimated to be less than 1 event per 203 000 years, equivalent to a significance greater than 5.1 {\sigma}. The source lies at a luminosity distance of $410^{+160}_{-180}$ Mpc corresponding to a redshift $z = 0.09^{+0.03}_{-0.04}$. In the source frame, the initial black hole masses are $36^{+5}_{-4} M_\odot$ and $29^{+4}_{-4} M_\odot$, and the final black hole mass is $62^{+4}_{-4} M_\odot$, with $3.0^{+0.5}_{-0.5} M_\odot c^2$ radiated in gravitational waves. All uncertainties define 90% credible intervals.These observations demonstrate the existence of binary stellar-mass black hole systems. This is the first direct detection of gravitational waves and the first observation of a binary black hole merger.

8,011 citations

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B. P. Abbott

^{1}, Richard J. Abbott^{1}, T. D. Abbott^{2}, Matthew Abernathy^{3}+978 more•Institutions (112)TL;DR: The first observational run of the Advanced LIGO detectors, from September 12, 2015 to January 19, 2016, saw the first detections of gravitational waves from binary black hole mergers as discussed by the authors.

Abstract: The first observational run of the Advanced LIGO detectors, from September 12, 2015 to January 19, 2016, saw the first detections of gravitational waves from binary black hole mergers. In this paper we present full results from a search for binary black hole merger signals with total masses up to 100M⊙ and detailed implications from our observations of these systems. Our search, based on general-relativistic models of gravitational wave signals from binary black hole systems, unambiguously identified two signals, GW150914 and GW151226, with a significance of greater than 5σ over the observing period. It also identified a third possible signal, LVT151012, with substantially lower significance, which has a 87% probability of being of astrophysical origin. We provide detailed estimates of the parameters of the observed systems. Both GW150914 and GW151226 provide an unprecedented opportunity to study the two-body motion of a compact-object binary in the large velocity, highly nonlinear regime. We do not observe any deviations from general relativity, and place improved empirical bounds on several high-order post-Newtonian coefficients. From our observations we infer stellar-mass binary black hole merger rates lying in the range 9−240Gpc−3yr−1. These observations are beginning to inform astrophysical predictions of binary black hole formation rates, and indicate that future observing runs of the Advanced detector network will yield many more gravitational wave detections.

1,106 citations

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TL;DR: In this article, the authors present an up-to-date summary of the rates for all types of compact binary coalescence sources detectable by the Initial and Advanced versions of the ground-based LIGO and Virgo Astrophysical estimates for compact-binary coalescence rates depend on a number of assumptions and unknown model parameters.

Abstract: We present an up-to-date, comprehensive summary of the rates for all types of compact binary coalescence sources detectable by the Initial and Advanced versions of the ground-based gravitational-wave detectors LIGO and Virgo Astrophysical estimates for compact-binary coalescence rates depend on a number of assumptions and unknown model parameters, and are still uncertain The most confident among these estimates are the rate predictions for coalescing binary neutron stars which are based on extrapolations from observed binary pulsars in our Galaxy These yield a likely coalescence rate of 100 per Myr per Milky Way Equivalent Galaxy (MWEG), although the rate could plausibly range from 1 per Myr per MWEG to 1000 per Myr per MWEG We convert coalescence rates into detection rates based on data from the LIGO S5 and Virgo VSR2 science runs and projected sensitivities for our Advanced detectors Using the detector sensitivities derived from these data, we find a likely detection rate of 002 per year for Initial LIGO-Virgo interferometers, with a plausible range between 00002 and 02 per year The likely binary neutron-star detection rate for the Advanced LIGO-Virgo network increases to 40 events per year, with a range between 04 and 400 per year

900 citations

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TL;DR: The first observational run of the Advanced LIGO detectors, from September 12, 2015 to January 19, 2016, saw the first detections of gravitational waves from binary black hole mergers as discussed by the authors.

Abstract: The first observational run of the Advanced LIGO detectors, from September 12, 2015 to January 19, 2016, saw the first detections of gravitational waves from binary black hole mergers. In this paper we present full results from a search for binary black hole merger signals with total masses up to $100 M_\odot$ and detailed implications from our observations of these systems. Our search, based on general-relativistic models of gravitational wave signals from binary black hole systems, unambiguously identified two signals, GW150914 and GW151226, with a significance of greater than $5\sigma$ over the observing period. It also identified a third possible signal, LVT151012, with substantially lower significance, and with an 87% probability of being of astrophysical origin. We provide detailed estimates of the parameters of the observed systems. Both GW150914 and GW151226 provide an unprecedented opportunity to study the two-body motion of a compact-object binary in the large velocity, highly nonlinear regime. We do not observe any deviations from general relativity, and place improved empirical bounds on several high-order post-Newtonian coefficients. From our observations we infer stellar-mass binary black hole merger rates lying in the range $9-240 \mathrm{Gpc}^{-3} \mathrm{yr}^{-1}$. These observations are beginning to inform astrophysical predictions of binary black hole formation rates, and indicate that future observing runs of the Advanced detector network will yield many more gravitational wave detections.

856 citations

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B. P. Abbott

^{1}, Richard J. Abbott^{1}, T. D. Abbott^{2}, Matthew Abernathy^{1}+984 more•Institutions (116)TL;DR: The data around the time of the event were analyzed coherently across the LIGO network using a suite of accurate waveform models that describe gravitational waves from a compact binary system in general relativity.

Abstract: On September 14, 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detected a gravitational-wave transient (GW150914); we characterise the properties of the source and its parameters. The data around the time of the event were analysed coherently across the LIGO network using a suite of accurate waveform models that describe gravitational waves from a compact binary system in general relativity. GW150914 was produced by a nearly equal mass binary black hole of $36^{+5}_{-4} M_\odot$ and $29^{+4}_{-4} M_\odot$ (for each parameter we report the median value and the range of the 90% credible interval). The dimensionless spin magnitude of the more massive black hole is bound to be $0.7$ (at 90% probability). The luminosity distance to the source is $410^{+160}_{-180}$ Mpc, corresponding to a redshift $0.09^{+0.03}_{-0.04}$ assuming standard cosmology. The source location is constrained to an annulus section of $590$ deg$^2$, primarily in the southern hemisphere. The binary merges into a black hole of $62^{+4}_{-4} M_\odot$ and spin $0.67^{+0.05}_{-0.07}$. This black hole is significantly more massive than any other known in the stellar-mass regime.

766 citations

##### Cited by

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TL;DR: There is, I think, something ethereal about i —the square root of minus one, which seems an odd beast at that time—an intruder hovering on the edge of reality.

Abstract: There is, I think, something ethereal about i —the square root of minus one. I remember first hearing about it at school. It seemed an odd beast at that time—an intruder hovering on the edge of reality.
Usually familiarity dulls this sense of the bizarre, but in the case of i it was the reverse: over the years the sense of its surreal nature intensified. It seemed that it was impossible to write mathematics that described the real world in …

30,199 citations

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University of Jyväskylä

^{1}, California Polytechnic State University^{2}, University of California, Los Angeles^{3}, Los Alamos National Laboratory^{4}, National Research University – Higher School of Economics^{5}, University of California, Berkeley^{6}, University of Birmingham^{7}, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation^{8}, University of Washington^{9}, University of Massachusetts Amherst^{10}, University of West Bohemia^{11}, Brigham Young University^{12}, University of Texas at Austin^{13}, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais^{14}, Google^{15}TL;DR: SciPy as discussed by the authors is an open-source scientific computing library for the Python programming language, which has become a de facto standard for leveraging scientific algorithms in Python, with over 600 unique code contributors, thousands of dependent packages, over 100,000 dependent repositories and millions of downloads per year.

Abstract: SciPy is an open-source scientific computing library for the Python programming language. Since its initial release in 2001, SciPy has become a de facto standard for leveraging scientific algorithms in Python, with over 600 unique code contributors, thousands of dependent packages, over 100,000 dependent repositories and millions of downloads per year. In this work, we provide an overview of the capabilities and development practices of SciPy 1.0 and highlight some recent technical developments.

6,244 citations

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B. P. Abbott

^{1}, Richard J. Abbott^{1}, T. D. Abbott^{2}, Fausto Acernese^{3}+1131 more•Institutions (123)TL;DR: The association of GRB 170817A, detected by Fermi-GBM 1.7 s after the coalescence, corroborates the hypothesis of a neutron star merger and provides the first direct evidence of a link between these mergers and short γ-ray bursts.

Abstract: On August 17, 2017 at 12∶41:04 UTC the Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo gravitational-wave detectors made their first observation of a binary neutron star inspiral. The signal, GW170817, was detected with a combined signal-to-noise ratio of 32.4 and a false-alarm-rate estimate of less than one per 8.0×10^{4} years. We infer the component masses of the binary to be between 0.86 and 2.26 M_{⊙}, in agreement with masses of known neutron stars. Restricting the component spins to the range inferred in binary neutron stars, we find the component masses to be in the range 1.17-1.60 M_{⊙}, with the total mass of the system 2.74_{-0.01}^{+0.04}M_{⊙}. The source was localized within a sky region of 28 deg^{2} (90% probability) and had a luminosity distance of 40_{-14}^{+8} Mpc, the closest and most precisely localized gravitational-wave signal yet. The association with the γ-ray burst GRB 170817A, detected by Fermi-GBM 1.7 s after the coalescence, corroborates the hypothesis of a neutron star merger and provides the first direct evidence of a link between these mergers and short γ-ray bursts. Subsequent identification of transient counterparts across the electromagnetic spectrum in the same location further supports the interpretation of this event as a neutron star merger. This unprecedented joint gravitational and electromagnetic observation provides insight into astrophysics, dense matter, gravitation, and cosmology.

5,922 citations

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TL;DR: The first direct detection of gravitational waves and the first observation of a binary black hole merger were reported in this paper, with a false alarm rate estimated to be less than 1 event per 203,000 years, equivalent to a significance greater than 5.1σ.

Abstract: On September 14, 2015 at 09:50:45 UTC the two detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory simultaneously observed a transient gravitational-wave signal. The signal sweeps upwards in frequency from 35 to 250 Hz with a peak gravitational-wave strain of 1.0×10(-21). It matches the waveform predicted by general relativity for the inspiral and merger of a pair of black holes and the ringdown of the resulting single black hole. The signal was observed with a matched-filter signal-to-noise ratio of 24 and a false alarm rate estimated to be less than 1 event per 203,000 years, equivalent to a significance greater than 5.1σ. The source lies at a luminosity distance of 410(-180)(+160) Mpc corresponding to a redshift z=0.09(-0.04)(+0.03). In the source frame, the initial black hole masses are 36(-4)(+5)M⊙ and 29(-4)(+4)M⊙, and the final black hole mass is 62(-4)(+4)M⊙, with 3.0(-0.5)(+0.5)M⊙c(2) radiated in gravitational waves. All uncertainties define 90% credible intervals. These observations demonstrate the existence of binary stellar-mass black hole systems. This is the first direct detection of gravitational waves and the first observation of a binary black hole merger.

4,375 citations

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TL;DR: In this article, the authors report on the implications for cosmic inflation of the 2018 Release of the Planck CMB anisotropy measurements, which are fully consistent with the two previous Planck cosmological releases, but have smaller uncertainties thanks to improvements in the characterization of polarization at low and high multipoles.

Abstract: We report on the implications for cosmic inflation of the 2018 Release of the Planck CMB anisotropy measurements. The results are fully consistent with the two previous Planck cosmological releases, but have smaller uncertainties thanks to improvements in the characterization of polarization at low and high multipoles. Planck temperature, polarization, and lensing data determine the spectral index of scalar perturbations to be $n_\mathrm{s}=0.9649\pm 0.0042$ at 68% CL and show no evidence for a scale dependence of $n_\mathrm{s}.$ Spatial flatness is confirmed at a precision of 0.4% at 95% CL with the combination with BAO data. The Planck 95% CL upper limit on the tensor-to-scalar ratio, $r_{0.002}<0.10$, is further tightened by combining with the BICEP2/Keck Array BK15 data to obtain $r_{0.002}<0.056$. In the framework of single-field inflationary models with Einstein gravity, these results imply that: (a) slow-roll models with a concave potential, $V" (\phi) < 0,$ are increasingly favoured by the data; and (b) two different methods for reconstructing the inflaton potential find no evidence for dynamics beyond slow roll. Non-parametric reconstructions of the primordial power spectrum consistently confirm a pure power law. A complementary analysis also finds no evidence for theoretically motivated parameterized features in the Planck power spectrum, a result further strengthened for certain oscillatory models by a new combined analysis that includes Planck bispectrum data. The new Planck polarization data provide a stringent test of the adiabaticity of the initial conditions. The polarization data also provide improved constraints on inflationary models that predict a small statistically anisotropic quadrupolar modulation of the primordial fluctuations. However, the polarization data do not confirm physical models for a scale-dependent dipolar modulation.

3,391 citations