How Good is "good enough" for Gravitational-wave Templates?



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PIRSA Number: 
11110084

Abstract

After the first landmark gravitational-wave (GW) detection, GW astronomy will turn to the study of detector data to identify the physical properties of GW sources. The science payoff of GW observations must therefore depend critically on the accurate knowledge of the shapes of waveforms as functions of the source parameters. Effective-field-theory techniques have advanced and continue to advance the state of the art for the modeling of inspiraling-binary dynamics. But how far do we have to push our calculations to satisfy the needs of observations? I review current attempts to answer this question for different detectors and sources, and for the delicate problem of matching post-Newtonian and numerical-relativity waveforms.