Discovering intermediate-mass black hole lenses through gravitational wave lensing
© 2018 American Physical Society. Intermediate-mass black holes are the missing link that connects stellar-mass to supermassive black holes and are key to understanding galaxy evolution. Gravitational waves, like photons, can be lensed, leading to discernable effects such as diffraction or repeated signals. We investigate the detectability of intermediate-mass black hole deflectors in the LIGO-Virgo detector network. In particular, we simulate gravitational waves with variable source distributions lensed by an astrophysical population of intermediate-mass black holes, and use the standard LIGO tools to infer the properties of these lenses. We find detections of intermediate-mass black holes at 98% confidence level over a wide range of binary and lens parameters. Therefore, we conclude that intermediate-mass black holes can be detected through lensing of gravitational waves in the LIGO-Virgo detector network.