Using recent results from numerical relativity simulations of nonspinning binary black hole mergers, we revisit the problem of detecting ringdown waveforms and of estimating the source parameters, considering both LISA and Earth-based interferometers. We find that Advanced LIGO and EGO could detect intermediate-mass black holes of mass up to ∼103M out to a luminosity distance of a few Gpc. For typical multipolar energy distributions, we show that the single-mode ringdown templates presently used for ringdown searches in the LIGO data stream can produce a significant event loss ( > 10% for all detectors in a large interval of black hole masses) and very large parameter estimation errors on the black hole's mass and spin. We estimate that more than ∼106 templates would be needed for a single-stage multimode search. Therefore, we recommend a "two-stage" search to save on computational costs: single-mode templates can be used for detection, but multimode templates or Prony methods should be used to estimate parameters once a detection has been made. We update estimates of the critical signal-to-noise ratio required to test the hypothesis that two or more modes are present in the signal and to resolve their frequencies, showing that second-generation Earth-based detectors and LISA have the potential to perform no-hair tests.




FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia)
National Science Foundation (U.S.)
United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration


This work was partially funded by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT)-Portugal through Projects No. PTDC/FIS/64175/2006 and No. POCI/FP/81915/ 2007, by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. PHY 03-53180 and No. PHY 06-52448, and by NASA under Grant No. NNG06GI60 to Washington University

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