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Gravitational waves could reveal the environment of inspiralling black holes

As pairs of black holes inspiral and merge, they create gravitational waves. These waves hold information about the environment in which the black holes are embedded: using future space-based gravitational-wave detectors, it will be possible to distinguish what kind of environment that is.

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Fig. 1: Densities and energy losses in different environments.


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This is a summary of: Cole, P. S. et al. Distinguishing environmental effects on binary black hole gravitational waveforms. Nat. Astron. (2023).

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Gravitational waves could reveal the environment of inspiralling black holes. Nat Astron 7, 896–897 (2023).

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