A Future Percentlevel Measurement of the Hubble Expansion at Redshift 0.8 with Advanced LIGO
Abstract
Simultaneous measurements of distance and redshift can be used to constrain the expansion history of the universe and associated cosmological parameters. Merging binary black hole (BBH) systems are standard sirens—their gravitational waveform provides direct information about the luminosity distance to the source. There is, however, a perfect degeneracy between the source masses and redshift; some nongravitational information is necessary to break the degeneracy and determine the redshift of the source. Here we suggest that the pair instability supernova (PISN) process, thought to be the source of the observed upper limit on the black hole mass in merging BBH systems at ∼ 45 {M}_{ȯ }, imprints a mass scale in the population of BBH mergers and permits a measurement of the redshift─luminosity─distance relation with these sources. We simulate five years of BBH detections in the Advanced LIGO and Virgo detectors with a realistic BBH merger rate, mass distribution with smooth PISN cutoff, and measurement uncertainty. We show that after one year of operation at design sensitivity the BBH population can constrain H(z) to 6.1 % at a pivot redshift z≃ 0.8. After five years the constraint improves to 2.9 % . If the PISN cutoff is sharp, the uncertainty is smaller by about a factor of two. This measurement relies only on general relativity and the presence of a mass scale that is approximately fixed or calibrated across cosmic time; it is independent of any distance ladder. Observations by future “thirdgeneration” gravitational wave detectors, which can see BBH mergers throughout the universe, would permit subpercent cosmographical measurements to z ≳ 4 within one month of observation.
 Publication:

The Astrophysical Journal
 Pub Date:
 October 2019
 DOI:
 10.3847/20418213/ab4284
 arXiv:
 arXiv:1908.09084
 Bibcode:
 2019ApJ...883L..42F
 Keywords:

 Hubble constant;
 Gravitational wave astronomy;
 Distance measure;
 Astrophysics  Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics;
 Astrophysics  High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
 EPrint:
 as accepted by ApJL