Numerical relativity simulation of GW150914 beyond general relativity

Maria Okounkova, Leo C. Stein, Jordan Moxon, Mark A. Scheel, Saul A. Teukolsky


We produce the first astrophysically-relevant numerical binary black hole gravitational waveform in a higher-curvature theory of gravity beyond general relativity. We simulate a system with parameters consistent with GW150914, the first LIGO detection, in order-reduced dynamical Chern-Simons gravity, a theory with motivations in string theory and loop quantum gravity. We present results for the leading-order corrections to the merger and ringdown waveforms, as well as the ringdown quasi-normal mode spectrum. We estimate that such corrections may be discriminated in detections with signal to noise ratio ≳ 24.