Measuring the Black Hole Mass Spectrum from Redshifts of aLIGO Binary Merger Events [HEAP]

The binary black hole merger events observed by the Advanced LIGO (aLIGO) and VIRGO collaboration can shed light on the origins of black holes. Many studies based on black hole stellar origins have shown a maximum mass for stellar black holes, which can be measured or constrained from the observed black hole mass distribution. In this paper, we point out that the redshift distribution of the observed merger events can provide complementary information for studying the black hole mass distribution, because the detectability correlates the event redshift to the black hole masses. Based on the five observed events and using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, we have found that the maximum of the stellar black hole masses are constrained to be below $76\,M_\odot$ at 90\% confidence level, for a negative power-law index of 2.3 for the heavier black hole. With the improved sensitivity of aLIGO, a few dozen merger events may be obtained, for which we estimate that the maximum mass will be constrained to $10\,M_\odot$ accuracy.

Read this paper on arXiv…

Y. Bai, V. Barger and S. Lu
Thu, 15 Feb 18

Comments: 18 pages, 7 figures