Primordial black hole merger rates: distributions for multiple LIGO observables

Andrew D. Gow, Christian T. Byrnes, Alex Hall, John A. Peacock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have calculated the detectable merger rate of primordial black holes, as a function of the redshift, as well as the binary's mass ratio, total mass and chirp mass (observables that have not previously been explored in great detail for PBHs). We consider both the current and design sensitivity of LIGO and five different primordial black hole mass functions, as well as showing a comparison to a predicted astrophysical black hole merger rate. We show that the empirical preference for nearly equal-mass binaries in current LIGO/Virgo data can be consistent with a PBH hypothesis once observational selection effects are taken into account. However, current data do exclude some PBH mass distributions, and future data may be able to rule out the possibility that all observed BH mergers had a primordial origin.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (JCAP)
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2020


  • astro-ph.CO
  • gr-qc


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