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Amplitude and phase of the gravitational waveform from compact binary systems can be decomposed in terms of their mass and currenttype multipole moments. In a modified theory of gravity, one or more of these multipole moments could deviate from general theory of relativity. In this work, we show that a waveform model that parametrizes the amplitude and phase in terms of the multipole moments of the binary can facilitate a novel multiparameter test of general relativity with exquisite precision. Using a network of nextgeneration gravitationalwave observatories, simultaneous deviation in the leading seven multipoles of a GW190814like binary can be bounded to within 6%–40% depending on the multipole order, while supermassive black hole mergers observed by the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna achieve a bound of 0.3%–2%. We further argue that bounds from multipoles can be uniquely mapped onto other parametrized tests of general relativity and have the potential to become a downstream analysis from which bounds of other parametric tests of general relativity can be derived. The set of multipole parameters, therefore, provides an excellent basis to carry out precision tests of general relativity.more » « lessFree, publiclyaccessible full text available March 1, 2025

The spin orientations of spinning binary black hole (BBH) mergers detected by groundbased gravitational wave detectors such as LIGO and Virgo can provide important clues about the formation of such binaries. However, these spin tilts, i.e., the angles between the spin vector of each black hole and the binary’s orbital angular momentum vector, can change due to precessional effects as the black holes evolve from a large separation to their merger. The tilts inferred at a frequency in the sensitive band of the detectors by comparing the signal with theoretical waveforms can thus be significantly different from the tilts when the binary originally formed. These tilts at the binary’s formation are well approximated in many scenarios by evolving the BBH backward in time to a formally infinite separation. Using the tilts at infinite separation also places all binaries on an equal footing in analyzing their population properties. In this paper, we perform parameter estimation for simulated BBHs and investigate the differences between the tilts one infers directly close to merger and those obtained by evolving back to infinite separation. We select simulated observations such that their configurations show particularly large differences in their orientations close to merger and at infinity. While these differences may be buried in the statistical noise for current detections, we show that in future plusera (A+ and Virgo+) detectors, they can be easily distinguished in some cases. We also consider the tilts at infinity for BBHs in various spin morphologies and at the endpoint of the updown instability. In particular, we find that we are able to easily identify the updown instability cases as such from the tilts at infinity.more » « lessFree, publiclyaccessible full text available February 1, 2025

Detections of gravitational waves emitted from binary black hole coalescences allow us to probe the strongfield dynamics of general relativity (GR). One can compare the observed gravitationalwave signals with theoretical waveform models to constrain possible deviations from GR. Any physics that is not included in these waveform models might show up as apparent GR deviations. The waveform models used in current tests of GR describe binaries on quasicircular orbits, since most of the binaries detected by groundbased gravitationalwave detectors are expected to have negligible eccentricities. Thus, a signal from an eccentric binary in GR is likely to show up as a deviation from GR in the current implementation of these tests. We study the response of four standard tests of GR to eccentric binary black hole signals with the forecast O4 sensitivity of the LIGOVirgo network. Specifically, we consider two parametrized tests (TIGER and FTI), the modified dispersion relation test, and the inspiralmergerringdown consistency test. To model eccentric signals, we use nonspinning numerical relativity simulations from the SXS catalog with three mass ratios (1, 2, 3), which we scale to a redshifted total mass of 80M⊙ and luminosity distance of 400 Mpc. For each of these mass ratios, we consider signals with eccentricities of ∼0.05 and ∼0.1 at 17 Hz. We find that signals with larger eccentricity lead to very significant false GR deviations in most tests while signals having smaller eccentricity lead to significant deviations in some tests. For the larger eccentricity cases, one would even get a deviation from GR with TIGER at ∼90% credibility at a distance of ≳1.5 Gpc. Thus, it will be necessary to exclude the possibility of an eccentric binary in order to make any claim about detecting a deviation from GR.more » « lessFree, publiclyaccessible full text available September 1, 2024