Eccentric gravitational wave bursts in the post-Newtonian formalism

Nicholas Loutrel, Nicolás Yunes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The detection of GW150914 by ground based gravitational wave observatories has brought about a new era in astrophysics. At optimal sensitivity, these observatories are expected to detect several events each year, with one or two of these occurring with non-negligible eccentricity. Such eccentric binaries will emit bursts of gravitational radiation during every pericenter passage, where orbital velocities can reach greater than ten percent the speed of light. As a result, such binaries may prove to be powerful probes of extreme gravitational physics and astrophysics. A promising method of achieving detection of such binaries is through power stacking, where the power in each burst is added up in time-frequency space. This detection strategy requires a theoretical prior of where the bursts will occur in time and frequency so that one knows where to search for successive bursts. We here present a generic post-Newtonian formalism for constructing such time-frequency model priors at generic post-Newtonian order. We apply our formalism to generate a burst model at third post-Newtonian order, making it potentially the most accurate, fully analytic model to date.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number135011
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jun 12 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • eccentric binaries
  • gravitational waves
  • post-Newtonian approximation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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