Resonant-plane locking and spin alignment in stellar-mass black-hole binaries: a diagnostic of compact-binary formation

18 Feb 2013Davide GerosaMichael KesdenEmanuele BertiRichard O'ShaughnessyUlrich Sperhake

We study the influence of astrophysical formation scenarios on the precessional dynamics of spinning black-hole binaries by the time they enter the observational window of second- and third-generation gravitational-wave detectors, such as Advanced LIGO/Virgo, LIGO-India, KAGRA and the Einstein Telescope. Under the plausible assumption that tidal interactions are efficient at aligning the spins of few-solar mass black-hole progenitors with the orbital angular momentum, we find that black-hole spins should be expected to preferentially lie in a plane when they become detectable by gravitational-wave interferometers... (read more)

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