Gravitational waves from a binary with a single dynamically significant spin, notably including precessing black hole-neutron star binaries, let us constrain that binary's properties: the two masses and the dominant black hole spin. Based on a straightforward fourier transform of enabled by the corotating frame, we show the Fisher matrix for precessing binaries can be well-approximated by an extremely simple semianalytic approximation. This approximation can be easily understood as a weighted average of independent information channels, each associated with one gravitational wave harmonic. Generalizing previous studies of nonprecessing binaries to include critical symmetry-breaking precession effects required to understand plausible astrophysical sources, our ansatz can be applied to address how well gravitational wave measurements can address a wide range of astrophysical and fundamental questions. This Fisher matrix approach provides a simple method to assess what parameters gravitational wave detectors can measure, how well, and why. Our study is the first analytically-tractable Fisher matrix calculation for precessing binaries.
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O'Shaughnessy, R. (Creator), Nepal, P. (Creator) & Lundgren, A. (Creator), IOP Publishing, 30 Jan 2020