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Determining the Hubble constant from gravitational wave observations


I report here how gravitational wave observations can be used to determine the Hubble constant, H0. The nearly monochromatic gravitational waves emitted by the decaying orbit of an ultra–compact, two–neutron–star binary system just before the stars coalesce are very likely to be detected by the kilometre–sized interferometric gravitational wave antennas now being designed1–4. The signal is easily identified and contains enough information to determine the absolute distance to the binary, independently of any assumptions about the masses of the stars. Ten events out to 100 Mpc may suffice to measure the Hubble constant to 3% accuracy.

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Schutz, B. Determining the Hubble constant from gravitational wave observations. Nature 323, 310–311 (1986).

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