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Published September 27, 2016 | Version v1
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Simulation of GW150914 binary black hole merger using the Einstein Toolkit

  • 1. University College Dublin
  • 2. Max-Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics
  • 3. Universita degli Studi di Catania


On February 11, 2016, the LIGO collaboration announced that they had achieved the first ever direct detection of gravitational waves. The gravitational waves – which were detected by both LIGO detectors on September 14, 2015 at 09:51 UTC – were generated over a billion years ago by the merger of a binary black hole system. The announcement came along with the simultaneous publication of a peer-reviewed paper [Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 061102]; several other papers giving technical details; and a full release of the data from the detection, which has been given the name GW150914.

The LIGO analysis found that the merger consisted of a 36 + 29 solar mass binary black hole system, the remnant was a 62 solar mass black hole, and the remaining 3 solar masses were radiated as gravitational waves. This dataset represents a subset of the data from a simulation in which the Einstein Toolkit was used to evolve the last 6 orbits and merger of a binary black hole system with parameters that match the GW150914 event.

More details on the simulation, including instructions for how to run it and how to analyse the data can be found in the Einstein Toolkit gallery at


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