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Confusion noise from LISA capture sources

Confusion noise from LISA capture sources
Confusion noise from LISA capture sources
Captures of compact objects (COs) by massive black holes (MBHs) in galactic nuclei will be an important source for LISA, the space-based gravitational-wave (GW) detector. However, a large fraction of captures will not be individually resolvable--either because they are too distant, have unfavorable orientation, or have too many years to go before final plunge--and so will constitute a source of "confusion noise," obscuring other types of sources. Here we estimate the shape and overall magnitude of the spectrum of confusion noise from CO captures. The overall magnitude depends on the capture rates, which are rather uncertain, so we present results for a plausible range of rates. We show that the impact of capture confusion noise on the total LISA noise curve ranges from insignificant to modest, depending on these rates. Capture rates at the high end of estimated ranges would raise LISA's overall (effective) noise level by at most a factor \sim 2. While this slightly elevated noise level would somewhat decrease LISA's sensitivity to other classes of sources, overall, this would be a pleasant problem for LISA to have: It would also imply that detection rates for CO captures were at nearly their maximum possible levels (given LISA's baseline design). This paper includes several other results that should be useful in further studies of LISA capture sources, including (i) a calculation of the total GW energy output from generic inspirals into Kerr MBHs, and (ii) an approximate GW energy spectrum for a typical capture, and (iii) an estimate showing that in the population of detected capture sources, roughly half the white dwarfs and a third of the neutron stars will be detected when they still have >~10 years to go before final plunge.
noise, black holes, galactic nuclei, gravitational wave detectors, gravitational waves, white dwarfs, neutron stars
1550-7998
122002-[21pp]
Barack, Leor
f08e66d4-c2f7-4f2f-91b8-f2c4230d0298
Cutler, Curt
9eca2575-4534-4c13-8bb4-a933ddef959b
Barack, Leor
f08e66d4-c2f7-4f2f-91b8-f2c4230d0298
Cutler, Curt
9eca2575-4534-4c13-8bb4-a933ddef959b

Barack, Leor and Cutler, Curt (2004) Confusion noise from LISA capture sources. Physical Review D, 70, 122002-[21pp]. (doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.70.122002).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Captures of compact objects (COs) by massive black holes (MBHs) in galactic nuclei will be an important source for LISA, the space-based gravitational-wave (GW) detector. However, a large fraction of captures will not be individually resolvable--either because they are too distant, have unfavorable orientation, or have too many years to go before final plunge--and so will constitute a source of "confusion noise," obscuring other types of sources. Here we estimate the shape and overall magnitude of the spectrum of confusion noise from CO captures. The overall magnitude depends on the capture rates, which are rather uncertain, so we present results for a plausible range of rates. We show that the impact of capture confusion noise on the total LISA noise curve ranges from insignificant to modest, depending on these rates. Capture rates at the high end of estimated ranges would raise LISA's overall (effective) noise level by at most a factor \sim 2. While this slightly elevated noise level would somewhat decrease LISA's sensitivity to other classes of sources, overall, this would be a pleasant problem for LISA to have: It would also imply that detection rates for CO captures were at nearly their maximum possible levels (given LISA's baseline design). This paper includes several other results that should be useful in further studies of LISA capture sources, including (i) a calculation of the total GW energy output from generic inspirals into Kerr MBHs, and (ii) an approximate GW energy spectrum for a typical capture, and (iii) an estimate showing that in the population of detected capture sources, roughly half the white dwarfs and a third of the neutron stars will be detected when they still have >~10 years to go before final plunge.

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More information

Published date: 2004
Keywords: noise, black holes, galactic nuclei, gravitational wave detectors, gravitational waves, white dwarfs, neutron stars
Organisations: Applied Mathematics

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 29372
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/29372
ISSN: 1550-7998
PURE UUID: 556cd7d9-c267-4cf9-813a-3a0b785a78b6

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Date deposited: 12 May 2006
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 19:09

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