LIGO Document G1601747-v1

Black-hole ringdown parameter estimation

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After the coalescence of two compact objects, the final black hole settles down to equilibrium in the ringdown phase. For astrophysical Kerr black holes, the ringdown spectrum is characterized by the mass and the angular momentum of the black hole. General relativity describes the late stages of the ringdown as a superposition of quasi-normal modes (QNM), with the shape of an exponentially damped sinusoid. The central frequency and the decay time are characteristic of the intrinsic parameters of the black hole.

Observations of the QNM spectrum could be used to verify the black-hole nature of the final object, and to further test the theory of general relativity. Using a parameter estimation code recently developed in PyCBC, which currently incorporates the Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) Python packages kombine and emcee, we aim to resolve at least two modes of the black-hole ringdown.

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