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26 February 2003 A new method for estimating binary pulsar coalescence rates
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Estimates of the Galactic coalescence rate (R) of close binaries with two neutron stars (NS-NS) are known to be uncertain by large factors (about two orders of magnitude) mainly due to the small number of systems detected as binary radio pulsars. We present an analysis method that allows us to estimate the Galactic NS-NS coalescence using the current observed sample and, importantly, to assign a statistical significance to these estimates and to calculate the allowed ranges of values at various confidence levels. The method involves the simulation of selection effects inherent in all relevant radio pulsar surveys and a Bayesian statistical analysis for the probability distribution of R. The most likely values for the total Galactic coalescence rate (Rtot) lie in the range 2-60 Myr-1 depending on different pulsar population models. For our reference model 1, where the most likely estimates of pulsar population properties are adopted, we obtain Rtot = 8-5+9 Myr-1 at a 68% statistical confidence level. The corresponding range of expected detection rates of NS-NS inspiral are 3-2+4 × 10-3 yr-1 for the initial LIGO and 18-11+21 yr-1 for the advanced LIGO.
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Vicky Kalogera, Chunglee Kim, and Duncan R. Lorimer "A new method for estimating binary pulsar coalescence rates", Proc. SPIE 4856, Gravitational-Wave Detection, (26 February 2003);


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