Gravitational waveforms from spectral Einstein code simulations: Neutron star-neutron star and low-mass black hole-neutron star binaries

F. Foucart, M. D. Duez, T. Hinderer, J. Caro, Andrew R. Williamson, M. Boyle, A. Buonanno, R. Haas, D. A. Hemberger, L. E. Kidder, H. P. Pfeiffer, M. A. Scheel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gravitational waveforms from numerical simulations are a critical tool to test and analytically calibrate the waveform models used to study the properties of merging compact objects. In this paper, we present a series of high-accuracy waveforms produced with the spectral Einstein code (SpEC) for systems involving at least one neutron star. We provide for the first time waveforms with subradian accuracy over more than twenty cycles for low-mass black hole-neutron star binaries, including binaries with nonspinning objects, and binaries with rapidly spinning neutron stars that maximize the impact on the gravitational wave signal of the near-resonant growth of the fundamental excitation mode of the neutron star (f-mode). We also provide for the first time with SpEC a high-accuracy neutron star-neutron star waveform. These waveforms are made publicly available as part of the SxS catalogue. We compare our results to analytical waveform models currently implemented in data analysis pipelines. For most simulations, the models lie outside of the predicted numerical errors in the last few orbits before merger, but do not show systematic deviations from the numerical results: comparing different models appears to provide reasonable estimates of the modeling errors. The sole exception is the equal-mass simulation using a rapidly counterrotating neutron star to maximize the impact of the excitation of the f-mode, for which all models perform poorly. This is however expected, as even the single model that takes f-mode excitation into account ignores the significant impact of the neutron star spin on the f-mode excitation frequency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044008
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 15 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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