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Gravitational waveforms from the inspiral and ring-down stages of the binary black-hole coalescences can be modeled accurately by approximation/ perturbation techniques in general relativity. Recent progress in numerical relativity has enabled us to model also the nonperturbative merger phase of the binary black-hole coalescence problem. This enables us to coherently search for all three stages of the coalescence of nonspinning binary black holes using a single template bank. Taking our motivation from these results, we propose a family of template waveforms which can model the inspiral, merger, and ring-down stages of the coalescence of nonspinning binary black holes that follow quasicircular inspiral. This two-dimensional template family is explicitly parametrized by the physical parameters of the binary. We show that the template family is not only effectual in detecting the signals from black-hole coalescences, but also faithful in estimating the parameters of the binary. We compare the sensitivity of a search (in the context of different ground-based interferometers) using all three stages of the black-hole coalescence with other template-based searches which look for individual stages separately. We find that the proposed search is significantly more sensitive than other template-based searches for a substantial mass range, potentially bringing about remarkable improvement in the event rate of ground-based interferometers. As part of this work, we also prescribe a general procedure to construct interpolated template banks using nonspinning black-hole waveforms produced by numerical relativity. © 2008 The American Physical Society.

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Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology