Verifying the no-hair property of massive compact objects with intermediate-mass-ratio inspirals in Advanced LIGO
December 15, 2011 - 10:00am
LDL 114 (adjacent to Boggs)
The detection of gravitational waves from the inspiral of a neutron star or stellar-mass black hole into an intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH) promises an entirely new look at strong field gravitational physics. Gravitational waves from these intermediate-mass-ratio inspirals (IMRIs), systems with mass ratios from 10:1 to 100:1, may be detectable at rates of up to a few tens per year and will encode a signature of the central body's spacetime. Direct observation of the spacetime will allow us to use the "no-hair" theorem of general relativity to determine if the IMBH is a Kerr black hole (or some more exotic object, e.g. a boson star). In this talk, I will discuss the prospects for constraining the central body's mass-quadrupole moment in Advanced LIGO, and the potential to detect large, non-Kerr compact objects. I will also discuss the current status of LIGO, and prospects for parameter estimation in the advanced detector era, including the results of a recent blind injection challenge.