"One of the primary sources for the future space-based gravitational wave detector, the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, are the inspirals of small compact objects into massive black holes in the centres of galaxies.
The gravitational waveforms from such Extreme Mass Ratio Inspiral (EMRI) systems will provide measurements of their parameters with unprecedented precision, but only if the waveforms are accurately modeled.
Here we explore the impact of transient orbital resonances which occur when the ratio of radial and polar frequencies is a rational number. We introduce a new Effective Resonance Model, which is an extension of the numerical kludge EMRI waveform approximation to include the effect of resonances, and use it to explore the impact of resonances on EMRI parameter estimation.
For one-year inspirals, we find that the few cycle dephasings induced by 3:2 resonances can lead to systematic errors in parameter estimates, that are up to several times the typical measurement precision of the parameters. The bias is greatest for 3:2 resonances that occur closer to the central black hole. By regarding them as unknown model parameters, we further show that observations will be able to constrain the size of the changes in the orbital parameters across the resonance to a relative precision of $10\%$ for a typical one-year EMRI observation with signal-to-noise ratio of 20. Such measurements can be regarded as tests of fundamental physics, by comparing the measured changes to those predicted in general relativity."