results for au:Chen_X in:gr-qc

- May 04 2018 gr-qc arXiv:1805.01263v1We present a novel fundamental effect that for the matter waves the space-averaging free-fall point of quantum particles undergoes a spin-dependent transverse shift in the gravitational field of Earth. This effect is similar to the geometric spin Hall effect (GSHE) [Aiello et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 100401 (2009)] and can be called gravity-induced GSHE. This effect suggests that there might be violations of the universality of free fall (UFF) or weak equivalence principle (WEP) in the quantum domain.
- Mar 01 2018 gr-qc astro-ph.CO arXiv:1802.10194v2The detection of gravitational waves with Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo has enabled novel tests of general relativity, including direct study of the polarization of gravitational waves. While general relativity allows for only two tensor gravitational-wave polarizations, general metric theories can additionally predict two vector and two scalar polarizations. The polarization of gravitational waves is encoded in the spectral shape of the stochastic gravitational-wave background, formed by the superposition of cosmological and individually-unresolved astrophysical sources. Using data recorded by Advanced LIGO during its first observing run, we search for a stochastic background of generically-polarized gravitational waves. We find no evidence for a background of any polarization, and place the first direct bounds on the contributions of vector and scalar polarizations to the stochastic background. Under log-uniform priors for the energy in each polarization, we limit the energy-densities of tensor, vector, and scalar modes at 95% credibility to $\Omega^T_0 < 5.6 \times 10^{-8}$, $\Omega^V_0 < 6.4\times 10^{-8}$, and $\Omega^S_0 < 1.1\times 10^{-7}$ at a reference frequency $f_0 = 25$ Hz.
- Feb 15 2018 gr-qc arXiv:1802.05241v1We report on a new all-sky search for periodic gravitational waves in the frequency band 475-2000 Hz and with a frequency time derivative in the range of [-1.0e-8, +1e-9] Hz/s. Potential signals could be produced by a nearby spinning and slightly non-axisymmetric isolated neutron star in our galaxy. This search uses the data from Advanced LIGO's first observational run O1. No gravitational wave signals were observed, and upper limits were placed on their strengths. For completeness, results from the separately published low frequency search 20-475 Hz are included as well. Our lowest upper limit on worst-case (linearly polarized) strain amplitude h_0 is 4e-25 near 170 Hz, while at the high end of our frequency range we achieve a worst-case upper limit of 1.3e-24. For a circularly polarized source (most favorable orientation), the smallest upper limit obtained is ~1.5e-25.
- Jan 23 2018 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1801.07060v2A small compact object spiraling into a supermassive black hole (SMBH) forms an extreme-mass-ratio inspiral (EMRI). It is one of the most important sources of gravitational waves (GWs) because the waveform is several months long and contains rich information about the space-time geometry of the SMBH. Recently, we have shown that the small bodies in as many as $10\%$ of the EMRIs could be binary black holes (BBHs). In this Letter we demonstrate that these binary-EMRIs (b-EMRIs) emit both $10^2$ Hz and $10^{-3}$ Hz GWs at the same time, and hence are ideal targets for future joint observations using both ground- and space-based GW detectors, because the BBHs would coalesce into single black holes (BHs) at a small distance from the SMBHs. Since the coalescence induces a large recoil velocity to the post-merger remnants, we propose a novel method of detecting b-EMRIs by looking for glitches in the waveforms of EMRIs and cross-correlating them with LIGO/Virgo events. The detection, in turn, can be used to measure the magnitude and direction of the recoil velocity to a precision as high as $(0.3-0.4)\%$, as well as constrain the mass loss due to the GW radiation to a precision of $0.1\%$
- Jan 18 2018 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1801.05780v3Extreme-mass-ratio inspiral (EMRI) is an important gravitational-wave (GW) source and it normally consists of one stellar-mass black hole (BH) whirling closely around a supermassive black hole (SMBH). In this Letter, we demonstrate that the small body, in fact, could be a BH binary (BHB). Previous numerical scatting experiments have shown that SMBHs can tidally capture BHBs to bound orbits. Here we investigate the subsequent long-term evolution. We find that those BHBs with a semi-major axis of $a\lesssim5\times10^{-3}$ AU can be captured to tightly-bound orbits such that they will successfully inspiral towards the central SMBHs without being scattered away by stellar relaxation processes. We estimate that these binary-EMRIs (b-EMRIs) could constitute at most $10\%$ of the EMRI population. Moreover, we show that when the eccentricity of a b-EMRI drops to about $0.85$, the two stellar BHs will quickly merge due to the tidal perturbation by the SMBH. The high-frequency ($\sim10^2$ Hz) GWs generated during the coalescence coincide with the low-frequency ($\sim10^{-3}$ Hz) waves from the b-EMRI, making this system an ideal target for future multi-band GW observations.
- Non-attractor inflation is known as the only single field inflationary scenario that can violate non-Gaussianity consistency relation with the Bunch-Davies vacuum state and generate large local non-Gaussianity. However, it is also known that the non-attractor inflation by itself is incomplete and should be followed by a phase of slow-roll attractor. Moreover, there is a transition process between these two phases. In the past literature, this transition was approximated as instant and the evolution of non-Gaussianity in this phase was not fully studied. In this paper, we follow the detailed evolution of the non-Gaussianity through the transition phase into the slow-roll attractor phase, considering different types of transition. We find that the transition process has important effect on the size of the local non-Gaussianity. We first compute the net contribution of the non-Gaussianities at the end of inflation in canonical non-attractor models. If the curvature perturbations keep evolving during the transition - such as in the case of smooth transition or some sharp transition scenarios - the $\mathcal{O}(1)$ local non-Gaussianity generated in the non-attractor phase can be completely erased by the subsequent evolution, although the consistency relation remains violated. In extremal cases of sharp transition where the super-horizon modes freeze immediately right after the end of the non-attractor phase, the original non-attractor result can be recovered. We also study models with non-canonical kinetic terms, and find that the transition can typically contribute a suppression factor in the squeezed bispectrum, but the final local non-Gaussianity can still be made parametrically large.
- Nov 16 2017 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1711.05578v1On June 8, 2017 at 02:01:16.49 UTC, a gravitational-wave signal from the merger of two stellar-mass black holes was observed by the two Advanced LIGO detectors with a network signal-to-noise ratio of 13. This system is the lightest black hole binary so far observed, with component masses $12^{+7}_{-2}\,M_\odot$ and $7^{+2}_{-2}\,M_\odot$ (90% credible intervals). These lie in the range of measured black hole masses in low-mass X-ray binaries, thus allowing us to compare black holes detected through gravitational waves with electromagnetic observations. The source's luminosity distance is $340^{+140}_{-140}$ Mpc, corresponding to redshift $0.07^{+0.03}_{-0.03}$. We verify that the signal waveform is consistent with the predictions of general relativity.
- Oct 26 2017 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1710.09320v1The first observation of a binary neutron star coalescence by the Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo gravitational-wave detectors offers an unprecedented opportunity to study matter under the most extreme conditions. After such a merger, a compact remnant is left over whose nature depends primarily on the masses of the inspiralling objects and on the equation of state of nuclear matter. This could be either a black hole or a neutron star (NS), with the latter being either long-lived or too massive for stability implying delayed collapse to a black hole. Here, we present a search for gravitational waves from the remnant of the binary neutron star merger GW170817 using data from Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo. We search for short ($\lesssim1$ s) and intermediate-duration ($\lesssim 500$ s) signals, which includes gravitational-wave emission from a hypermassive NS or supramassive NS, respectively. We find no signal from the post-merger remnant. Our derived strain upper limits are more than an order of magnitude larger than those predicted by most models. For short signals, our best upper limit on the root-sum-square of the gravitational-wave strain emitted from 1--4 kHz is $h_{\rm rss}^{50\%}=2.1\times 10^{-22}$ Hz$^{-1/2}$ at 50% detection efficiency. For intermediate-duration signals, our best upper limit at 50% detection efficiency is $h_{\rm rss}^{50\%}=8.4\times 10^{-22}$ Hz$^{-1/2}$ for a millisecond magnetar model, and $h_{\rm rss}^{50\%}=5.9\times 10^{-22}$ Hz$^{-1/2}$ for a bar-mode model. These results indicate that post-merger emission from a similar event may be detectable when advanced detectors reach design sensitivity or with next-generation detectors.
- Oct 17 2017 gr-qc arXiv:1710.05837v1The LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations have announced the first detection of gravitational waves from the coalescence of two neutron stars. The merger rate of binary neutron stars estimated from this event suggests that distant, unresolvable binary neutron stars create a significant astrophysical stochastic gravitational-wave background. The binary neutron star background will add to the background from binary black holes, increasing the amplitude of the total astrophysical background relative to previous expectations. In the Advanced LIGO-Virgo frequency band most sensitive to stochastic backgrounds (near 25 Hz), we predict a total astrophysical background with amplitude $\Omega_{\rm GW} (f=25 \text{Hz}) = 1.8_{-1.3}^{+2.7} \times 10^{-9}$ with $90\%$ confidence, compared with $\Omega_{\rm GW} (f=25 \text{Hz}) = 1.1_{-0.7}^{+1.2} \times 10^{-9}$ from binary black holes alone. Assuming the most probable rate for compact binary mergers, we find that the total background may be detectable with a signal-to-noise-ratio of 3 after 40 months of total observation time, based on the expected timeline for Advanced LIGO and Virgo to reach their design sensitivity.
- Oct 09 2017 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1710.02327v2Spinning neutron stars asymmetric with respect to their rotation axis are potential sources of continuous gravitational waves for ground-based interferometric detectors. In the case of known pulsars a fully coherent search, based on matched filtering, which uses the position and rotational parameters obtained from electromagnetic observations, can be carried out. Matched filtering maximizes the signal-to-noise (SNR) ratio, but a large sensitivity loss is expected in case of even a very small mismatch between the assumed and the true signal parameters. For this reason, \it narrow-band analyses methods have been developed, allowing a fully coherent search for gravitational waves from known pulsars over a fraction of a hertz and several spin-down values. In this paper we describe a narrow-band search of eleven pulsars using data from Advanced LIGO's first observing run. Although we have found several initial outliers, further studies show no significant evidence for the presence of a gravitational wave signal. Finally, we have placed upper limits on the signal strain amplitude lower than the spin-down limit for 5 of the 11 targets over the bands searched: in the case of J1813-1749 the spin-down limit has been beaten for the first time. For an additional 3 targets, the median upper limit across the search bands is below the spin-down limit. This is the most sensitive narrow-band search for continuous gravitational waves carried out so far.
- Sep 28 2017 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1709.09660v3On August 14, 2017 at 10:30:43 UTC, the Advanced Virgo detector and the two Advanced LIGO detectors coherently observed a transient gravitational-wave signal produced by the coalescence of two stellar mass black holes, with a false-alarm-rate of $\lesssim$ 1 in 27000 years. The signal was observed with a three-detector network matched-filter signal-to-noise ratio of 18. The inferred masses of the initial black holes are $30.5_{-3.0}^{+5.7}$ Msun and $25.3_{-4.2}^{+2.8}$ Msun (at the 90% credible level). The luminosity distance of the source is $540_{-210}^{+130}~\mathrm{Mpc}$, corresponding to a redshift of $z=0.11_{-0.04}^{+0.03}$. A network of three detectors improves the sky localization of the source, reducing the area of the 90% credible region from 1160 deg$^2$ using only the two LIGO detectors to 60 deg$^2$ using all three detectors. For the first time, we can test the nature of gravitational wave polarizations from the antenna response of the LIGO-Virgo network, thus enabling a new class of phenomenological tests of gravity.
- Mass-redshift Degeneracy for Gravitational-wave Sources in the Vicinity of a Supermassive Black HoleMar 31 2017 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1703.10543v3Retrieving the mass of a gravitational-wave (GW) source is a fundamental but difficult problem because the mass is degenerate with redshift. In astronomy, three types of redshift exist, namely cosmological, Doppler, and gravitational redshift, but normally the latter two are too weak to affect GWs. In this Letter, we explore the possibility that a binary of stellar black holes merges within $10$ Schwarzschild radii of a supermassive black hole (SMBH) so that both the Doppler and gravitational redshift are significant. We find that such a merger requires the SMBH to be more massive than about $5\times10^8\,M_\odot$, or at least $6\times10^6\,M_\odot$ if the SMBH has an accretion disk. In both cases, the redshift in total can be as large as $1.9\lesssim(1+z_{\rm tot})\lesssim3.4$ if the merger happens between the innermost stable circular orbit and the innermost bound one around the SMBH. Neglecting this effect will result in an overestimation of the mass of a BBH, and also the luminosity distance, by the same factor of $1+z_{\rm tot}$.
- The formation of compact stellar-mass binaries is a difficult, but interesting problem in astrophysics. There are two main formation channels: In the field via binary star evolution, or in dense stellar systems via dynamical interactions. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) has detected black hole binaries (BHBs) via their gravitational radiation. These detections provide us with information about the physical parameters of the system. It has been claimed that when the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) is operating, the joint observation of these binaries with LIGO will allow us to derive the channels that lead to their formation. However, we show that for BHBs in dense stellar systems dynamical interactions could lead to high eccentricities such that a fraction of the relativistic mergers are not audible to LISA. A non-detection by LISA puts a lower limit of about $0.005$ on the eccentricity of a BHB entering the LIGO band. On the other hand, a deci-Hertz observatory, like DECIGO or Tian Qin, would significantly enhance the chances of a joint detection, and shed light on the formation channels of these binaries.
- Feb 10 2017 gr-qc arXiv:1702.02921v1We attempt to construct a gravitational coupling by pre-selecting an energy-momentum tensor as the source for gravitational field. The energy-momentum tensor we take is a recently derived new expression motivated by joint localization of energy and momentum in quantum measurement. This energy-momentum tensor differs from the traditional canonical and symmetric ones, and the theory we obtain is of an Einstein-Cartan type, but derived from a minimal coupling of a Lagrangian with second-derivative, and leads to additional interaction between torsion and matter, including the scalar field. For the scalar field, the theory can also be derived in the Riemann space-time by a non-minimal coupling. Our study gives hint on more general tests of general relativistic effects.
- Nov 01 2016 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1610.09382v1The coalescence of two supermassive black holes (SMBHs) produces powerful gravitational-wave (GW) radiation and, if gas is present in the vicinity, also an electromagnetic (EM) counterpart. In the standard picture, an EM outburst will be produced when the binary "decouples" from the circum-binary disc and starts "squeezing" the disc inside the secondary orbit, resulting in its quick accretion on to the primary black hole. Here we use analytical arguments and numerical simulations to show that the disc within about $20~R_S$ of a SMBH survives the merger without being depleted. The reason is a "second decoupling": the inner disc thickens due to tidal heating and inefficient cooling, effectively decoupling from the interaction of the binary. We show that this second decoupling quenches the heating sources in the disc ${\cal O}(10^2)$ days before coalescence. This will render the peak UV/X-ray luminosity significantly weaker than previously thought. After the merger, the residual disc cools down and expands, merging with the outer disc rather than being completely accreted. This results in continuous EM emission, hindering the detection of the cut-off and re-brightening proposed in earlier studies.
- Since Hubble and Lamaitre's discovery of the expanding universe using galaxies till the recent discovery of the accelerating universe using standard candles, direct measurements of the evolution of the scale factor of the universe a(t) have played central roles in establishing the standard model of cosmology. In this letter, we show that such a measurement may be extended to the primordial universe using massive fields as standard clocks, providing a direct evidence for the scenario responsible for the Big Bang. This is a short and non-technical introduction to the idea of classical and quantum primordial standard clocks.
- Gravitational waves are a prediction of general relativity, and with ground-based detectors now running in their advanced configuration, we will soon be able to measure them directly for the first time. Binaries of stellar-mass black holes are among the most interesting sources for these detectors. Unfortunately, the many different parameters associated with the problem make it difficult to promptly produce a large set of waveforms for the search in the data stream. To reduce the number of templates to develop, one must restrict some of the physical parameters to a certain range of values predicted by either (electromagnetic) observations or theoretical modeling. In this work we show that "hyperstellar" black holes (HSBs) with masses $30 \lesssim M_{\rm BH}/M_{\odot} \lesssim 100$, i.e black holes significantly larger than the nominal $10\,M_{\odot}$, will have an associated low value for the spin, i.e. $a<0.5$. We prove that this is true regardless of the formation channel, and that when two HSBs build a binary, each of the spin magnitudes is also low, and the binary members have similar masses. We also address the distribution of the eccentricities of HSB binaries in dense stellar systems using a large suite of three-body scattering experiments that include binary-single interactions and long-lived hierarchical systems with a highly accurate integrator, including relativistic corrections up to ${\cal O}(1/c^5)$. We find that most sources in the detector band will have nearly zero eccentricities. This correlation between large, similar masses, low spin and low eccentricity will help to accelerate the searches for gravitational-wave signals.
- Nov 06 2015 astro-ph.CO gr-qc arXiv:1511.01577v2The extragalactic background light (EBL) is comprised of the cumulative radiation from all galaxies and active galactic nuclei over the cosmic history. In addition to point sources, EBL also contains information from diffuse sources of radiation. The angular power spectra of the near-infrared intensities could contain additional signals and a complete understanding of the nature of the IR background is still lacking in the literature. Here we explore the constraints that can be placed on particle decays, especially candidate dark matter models involving axions that trace dark matter halos of galaxies. Axions with a mass around a few eV will decay via two photons with wavelengths in the near-IR band, and will leave a signature in the IR background intensity power spectrum. Using recent power spectra measurements from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment (CIBER), we find that the 0.6 to 1.6 micron power spectra can be explained by axions with masses around 4 eV. The total axion abundance Omega_a~0.05, and it is comparable to the baryon density of the Universe. The suggested mean axion mass and abundance are not ruled out by existing cosmological observations. Interestingly, the axion model with a mass distribution is preferred by the data, which cannot be explained by the standard quantum chromodynamics (QCD) theory and needs further discussion.
- In this paper we present the results of the first low frequency all-sky search of continuous gravitational wave signals conducted on Virgo VSR2 and VSR4 data. The search covered the full sky, a frequency range between 20 Hz and 128 Hz with a range of spin-down between $-1.0 \times 10^{-10}$ Hz/s and $+1.5 \times 10^{-11}$ Hz/s, and was based on a hierarchical approach. The starting point was a set of short Fast Fourier Transforms (FFT), of length 8192 seconds, built from the calibrated strain data. Aggressive data cleaning, both in the time and frequency domains, has been done in order to remove, as much as possible, the effect of disturbances of instrumental origin. On each dataset a number of candidates has been selected, using the FrequencyHough transform in an incoherent step. Only coincident candidates among VSR2 and VSR4 have been examined in order to strongly reduce the false alarm probability, and the most significant candidates have been selected. The criteria we have used for candidate selection and for the coincidence step greatly reduce the harmful effect of large instrumental artifacts. Selected candidates have been subject to a follow-up by constructing a new set of longer FFTs followed by a further incoherent analysis. No evidence for continuous gravitational wave signals was found, therefore we have set a population-based joint VSR2-VSR4 90$\%$ confidence level upper limit on the dimensionless gravitational wave strain in the frequency range between 20 Hz and 128 Hz. This is the first all-sky search for continuous gravitational waves conducted at frequencies below 50 Hz. We set upper limits in the range between about $10^{-24}$ and $2\times 10^{-23}$ at most frequencies. Our upper limits on signal strain show an improvement of up to a factor of $\sim$2 with respect to the results of previous all-sky searches at frequencies below $80~\mathrm{Hz}$.
- Oct 14 2015 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1510.03474v2We report results of a wideband search for periodic gravitational waves from isolated neutron stars within the Orion spur towards both the inner and outer regions of our Galaxy. As gravitational waves interact very weakly with matter, the search is unimpeded by dust and concentrations of stars. One search disk (A) is $6.87^\circ$ in diameter and centered on $20^\textrm{h}10^\textrm{m}54.71^\textrm{s}+33^\circ33'25.29"$, and the other (B) is $7.45^\circ$ in diameter and centered on $8^\textrm{h}35^\textrm{m}20.61^\textrm{s}-46^\circ49'25.151"$. We explored the frequency range of 50-1500 Hz and frequency derivative from $0$ to $-5\times 10^{-9}$ Hz/s. A multi-stage, loosely coherent search program allowed probing more deeply than before in these two regions, while increasing coherence length with every stage. Rigorous followup parameters have winnowed initial coincidence set to only 70 candidates, to be examined manually. None of those 70 candidates proved to be consistent with an isolated gravitational wave emitter, and 95% confidence level upper limits were placed on continuous-wave strain amplitudes. Near $169$ Hz we achieve our lowest 95% CL upper limit on worst-case linearly polarized strain amplitude $h_0$ of $6.3\times 10^{-25}$, while at the high end of our frequency range we achieve a worst-case upper limit of $3.4\times 10^{-24}$ for all polarizations and sky locations.
- Mar 03 2015 physics.atom-ph gr-qc arXiv:1503.00401v1We report an improved test of the weak equivalence principle by using a simultaneous $^{85}$Rb-$^{87}$Rb dual-species atom interferometer. We propose and implement a four-wave double-diffraction Raman transition scheme for the interferometer, and demonstrate its ability in suppressing common-mode phase noise of Raman lasers after their frequencies and intensity ratios are optimized. The statistical uncertainty of the experimental data for Eötvös parameter $\eta$ is $0.8\times10^{-8}$ at 3200 s. With various systematic errors corrected the final value is $\eta=(2.8\pm3.0)\times10^{-8}$. The major uncertainty is attributed to the Coriolis effect.
- Jan 19 2015 astro-ph.CO gr-qc arXiv:1501.03851v2The study of the Universe on ultra-large scales is one of the major science cases for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). The SKA will be able to probe a vast volume of the cosmos, thus representing a unique instrument, amongst next-generation cosmological experiments, for scrutinising the Universe's properties on the largest cosmic scales. Probing cosmic structures on extremely large scales will have many advantages. For instance, the growth of perturbations is well understood for those modes, since it falls fully within the linear regime. Also, such scales are unaffected by the poorly understood feedback of baryonic physics. On ultra-large cosmic scales, two key effects become significant: primordial non-Gaussianity and relativistic corrections to cosmological observables. Moreover, if late-time acceleration is driven not by dark energy but by modifications to general relativity, then such modifications should become apparent near and above the horizon scale. As a result, the SKA is forecast to deliver transformational constraints on non-Gaussianity and to probe gravity on super-horizon scales for the first time.
- Motivated by the mathematic theory of split-complex numbers (or hyperbolic numbers, also perplex numbers) and the split-quaternion numbers (or coquaternion numbers), we define the notion of split-complex scalar field and the split-quaternion scalar field. Then we explore the cosmic evolution of these scalar fields in the background of spatially flat Friedmann-Robertson-Walker Universe. We find that both the quintessence field and the phantom field could naturally emerge in these scalar fields. Introducing the metric of field space, these theories fall into a subclass of the multi-field theories which have been extensively studied in inflationary cosmology.
- Sagittarius A* (SgrA*) lying in the Galactic Centre $8$ kpc from Earth, hosts the closest supermassive black hole known to us. It is now inactive, but there is evidence indicating that about six million years ago it underwent a powerful outburst where the luminosity could have approached the Eddington limit. Motivated by the fact that in extragalaxies the supermassive black holes with similar masses and near-Eddington luminosities are usually strong X-ray emitters, we calculate here the X-ray luminosity of SgrA*. For that, we assume that the outburst was due to accretion of gas or the tidal disruption of a star. We show that these cases could precipitate on Earth a hard X-ray (i.e. $h\nu>2~{\rm keV}$) flux comparable to that from the current quiescent sun. The flux in harder energy band $20~{\rm keV}<h\nu<100~{\rm keV}$, however, surpasses that from an X-class solar flare, and the irradiation timescale is also much longer, ranging from weeks to $10^5$ years depending on the outburst scenario. In the solar system gas giants will suffer the biggest impact in their atmospheres. Lower-mass planets such as Earth receive a level of radiation that might have played a role in the evolution of their primitive atmospheres, so that a detailed study of the consequences deserves further investigation. Planetary systems closer to SgrA* receive higher irradiance levels, making them more likely inhabitable.
- Oct 29 2014 gr-qc astro-ph.IM arXiv:1410.7764v2In 2009-2010, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observa- tory (LIGO) operated together with international partners Virgo and GEO600 as a network to search for gravitational waves of astrophysical origin. The sensitiv- ity of these detectors was limited by a combination of noise sources inherent to the instrumental design and its environment, often localized in time or frequency, that couple into the gravitational-wave readout. Here we review the performance of the LIGO instruments during this epoch, the work done to characterize the de- tectors and their data, and the effect that transient and continuous noise artefacts have on the sensitivity of LIGO to a variety of astrophysical sources.
- The present work reports on a feasibility study commissioned by the Chinese Academy of Sciences of China to explore various possible mission options to detect gravitational waves in space alternative to that of the eLISA/LISA mission concept. Based on the relative merits assigned to science and technological viability, a few representative mission options descoped from the ALIA mission are considered. A semi-analytic Monte Carlo simulation is carried out to understand the cosmic black hole merger histories starting from intermediate mass black holes at high redshift as well as the possible scientific merits of the mission options considered in probing the light seed black holes and their coevolution with galaxies in early Universe. The study indicates that, by choosing the armlength of the interferometer to be three million kilometers and shifting the sensitivity floor to around one-hundredth Hz, together with a very moderate improvement on the position noise budget, there are certain mission options capable of exploring light seed, intermediate mass black hole binaries at high redshift that are not readily accessible to eLISA/LISA, and yet the technological requirements seem to within reach in the next few decades for China.
- Oct 24 2014 gr-qc astro-ph.IM arXiv:1410.6211v3Searches for a stochastic gravitational-wave background (SGWB) using terrestrial detectors typically involve cross-correlating data from pairs of detectors. The sensitivity of such cross-correlation analyses depends, among other things, on the separation between the two detectors: the smaller the separation, the better the sensitivity. Hence, a co-located detector pair is more sensitive to a gravitational-wave background than a non-co-located detector pair. However, co-located detectors are also expected to suffer from correlated noise from instrumental and environmental effects that could contaminate the measurement of the background. Hence, methods to identify and mitigate the effects of correlated noise are necessary to achieve the potential increase in sensitivity of co-located detectors. Here we report on the first SGWB analysis using the two LIGO Hanford detectors and address the complications arising from correlated environmental noise. We apply correlated noise identification and mitigation techniques to data taken by the two LIGO Hanford detectors, H1 and H2, during LIGO's fifth science run. At low frequencies, 40 - 460 Hz, we are unable to sufficiently mitigate the correlated noise to a level where we may confidently measure or bound the stochastic gravitational-wave signal. However, at high frequencies, 460-1000 Hz, these techniques are sufficient to set a $95%$ confidence level (C.L.) upper limit on the gravitational-wave energy density of \Omega(f)<7.7 x 10^-4 (f/ 900 Hz)^3, which improves on the previous upper limit by a factor of $\sim 180$. In doing so, we demonstrate techniques that will be useful for future searches using advanced detectors, where correlated noise (e.g., from global magnetic fields) may affect even widely separated detectors.
- Oct 16 2014 astro-ph.GA gr-qc arXiv:1410.3824v2Observations of the innermost parsec surrounding Sgr A$^*$ ---the supermassive black hole in the center of our Galaxy--- have revealed a diversity of structures whose existence and characteristics apparently defy the fundamental principles of dynamics. In this article, we review the challenges to the dynamics theories that have been brought forth in the past two decades by the observations of the Galactic center (GC). We outline the theoretical framework that has been developed to reconcile the discrepancies between the theoretical predictions and the observational results. In particular, we highlight the role of the recently discovered sub-parsec stellar disk in determining the dynamics and resolving the inconsistencies. We also discuss the implications for the recent activity of Sgr A$^*$.
- Gravitational waves from a variety of sources are predicted to superpose to create a stochastic background. This background is expected to contain unique information from throughout the history of the universe that is unavailable through standard electromagnetic observations, making its study of fundamental importance to understanding the evolution of the universe. We carry out a search for the stochastic background with the latest data from LIGO and Virgo. Consistent with predictions from most stochastic gravitational-wave background models, the data display no evidence of a stochastic gravitational-wave signal. Assuming a gravitational-wave spectrum of Omega_GW(f)=Omega_alpha*(f/f_ref)^alpha, we place 95% confidence level upper limits on the energy density of the background in each of four frequency bands spanning 41.5-1726 Hz. In the frequency band of 41.5-169.25 Hz for a spectral index of alpha=0, we constrain the energy density of the stochastic background to be Omega_GW(f)<5.6x10^-6. For the 600-1000 Hz band, Omega_GW(f)<0.14*(f/900 Hz)^3, a factor of 2.5 lower than the best previously reported upper limits. We find Omega_GW(f)<1.8x10^-4 using a spectral index of zero for 170-600 Hz and Omega_GW(f)<1.0*(f/1300 Hz)^3 for 1000-1726 Hz, bands in which no previous direct limits have been placed. The limits in these four bands are the lowest direct measurements to date on the stochastic background. We discuss the implications of these results in light of the recent claim by the BICEP2 experiment of the possible evidence for inflationary gravitational waves.
- Jun 02 2014 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1405.7904v2We present the first results of an all-sky search for continuous gravitational waves from unknown spinning neutron stars in binary systems using LIGO and Virgo data. Using a specially developed analysis program, the TwoSpect algorithm, the search was carried out on data from the sixth LIGO Science Run and the second and third Virgo Science Runs. The search covers a range of frequencies from 20 Hz to 520 Hz, a range of orbital periods from 2 to ~2,254 h and a frequency- and period-dependent range of frequency modulation depths from 0.277 to 100 mHz. This corresponds to a range of projected semi-major axes of the orbit from ~0.6e-3 ls to ~6,500 ls assuming the orbit of the binary is circular. While no plausible candidate gravitational wave events survive the pipeline, upper limits are set on the analyzed data. The most sensitive 95% confidence upper limit obtained on gravitational wave strain is 2.3e-24 at 217 Hz, assuming the source waves are circularly polarized. Although this search has been optimized for circular binary orbits, the upper limits obtained remain valid for orbital eccentricities as large as 0.9. In addition, upper limits are placed on continuous gravitational wave emission from the low-mass x-ray binary Scorpius X-1 between 20 Hz and 57.25 Hz.
- Apr 09 2014 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1404.2199v4This paper reports on an unmodeled, all-sky search for gravitational waves from merging intermediate mass black hole binaries (IMBHB). The search was performed on data from the second joint science run of the LIGO and Virgo detectors (July 2009 - October 2010) and was sensitive to IMBHBs with a range up to $\sim 200$ Mpc, averaged over the possible sky positions and inclinations of the binaries with respect to the line of sight. No significant candidate was found. Upper limits on the coalescence-rate density of nonspinning IMBHBs with total masses between 100 and $450 \ \mbox{M}_{\odot}$ and mass ratios between $0.25$ and $1\,$ were placed by combining this analysis with an analogous search performed on data from the first LIGO-Virgo joint science run (November 2005 - October 2007). The most stringent limit was set for systems consisting of two $88 \ \mbox{M}_{\odot}$ black holes and is equal to $0.12 \ \mbox{Mpc}^{-3} \ \mbox{Myr}^{-1}$ at the $90\%$ confidence level. This paper also presents the first estimate, for the case of an unmodeled analysis, of the impact on the search range of IMBHB spin configurations: the visible volume for IMBHBs with nonspinning components is roughly doubled for a population of IMBHBs with spins aligned with the binary's orbital angular momentum and uniformly distributed in the dimensionless spin parameter up to 0.8, whereas an analogous population with antialigned spins decreases the visible volume by $\sim 20\%\,$.
- Mar 27 2014 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1403.6639v2We present the results of a search for gravitational waves associated with 223 gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) detected by the InterPlanetary Network (IPN) in 2005-2010 during LIGO's fifth and sixth science runs and Virgo's first, second and third science runs. The IPN satellites provide accurate times of the bursts and sky localizations that vary significantly from degree scale to hundreds of square degrees. We search for both a well-modeled binary coalescence signal, the favored progenitor model for short GRBs, and for generic, unmodeled gravitational wave bursts. Both searches use the event time and sky localization to improve the gravitational-wave search sensitivity as compared to corresponding all-time, all-sky searches. We find no evidence of a gravitational-wave signal associated with any of the IPN GRBs in the sample, nor do we find evidence for a population of weak gravitational-wave signals associated with the GRBs. For all IPN-detected GRBs, for which a sufficient duration of quality gravitational-wave data is available, we place lower bounds on the distance to the source in accordance with an optimistic assumption of gravitational-wave emission energy of $10^{-2}M_{\odot}c^2$ at 150 Hz, and find a median of 13 Mpc. For the 27 short-hard GRBs we place 90% confidence exclusion distances to two source models: a binary neutron star coalescence, with a median distance of 12Mpc, or the coalescence of a neutron star and black hole, with a median distance of 22 Mpc. Finally, we combine this search with previously published results to provide a population statement for GRB searches in first-generation LIGO and Virgo gravitational-wave detectors, and a resulting examination of prospects for the advanced gravitational-wave detectors.
- Mar 24 2014 gr-qc arXiv:1403.5306v2We report results from a search for gravitational waves produced by perturbed intermediate mass black holes (IMBH) in data collected by LIGO and Virgo between 2005 and 2010. The search was sensitive to astrophysical sources that produced damped sinusoid gravitational wave signals, also known as ringdowns, with frequency $50\le f_{0}/\mathrm{Hz} \le 2000$ and decay timescale $0.0001\lesssim \tau/\mathrm{s} \lesssim 0.1$ characteristic of those produced in mergers of IMBH pairs. No significant gravitational wave candidate was detected. We report upper limits on the astrophysical coalescence rates of IMBHs with total binary mass $50 \le M/\mathrm{M}_\odot \le 450$ and component mass ratios of either 1:1 or 4:1. For systems with total mass $100 \le M/\mathrm{M}_\odot \le 150$, we report a 90%-confidence upper limit on the rate of binary IMBH mergers with non-spinning and equal mass components of $6.9\times10^{-8}\,$Mpc$^{-3}$yr$^{-1}$. We also report a rate upper limit for ringdown waveforms from perturbed IMBHs, radiating 1% of their mass as gravitational waves in the fundamental, $\ell=m=2$, oscillation mode, that is nearly three orders of magnitude more stringent than previous results.
- We present an implementation of the $\mathcal{F}$-statistic to carry out the first search in data from the Virgo laser interferometric gravitational wave detector for periodic gravitational waves from a priori unknown, isolated rotating neutron stars. We searched a frequency $f_0$ range from 100 Hz to 1 kHz and the frequency dependent spindown $f_1$ range from $-1.6\,(f_0/100\,{\rm Hz}) \times 10^{-9}\,$ Hz/s to zero. A large part of this frequency - spindown space was unexplored by any of the all-sky searches published so far. Our method consisted of a coherent search over two-day periods using the $\mathcal{F}$-statistic, followed by a search for coincidences among the candidates from the two-day segments. We have introduced a number of novel techniques and algorithms that allow the use of the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) algorithm in the coherent part of the search resulting in a fifty-fold speed-up in computation of the $\mathcal{F}$-statistic with respect to the algorithm used in the other pipelines. No significant gravitational wave signal was found. The sensitivity of the search was estimated by injecting signals into the data. In the most sensitive parts of the detector band more than 90% of signals would have been detected with dimensionless gravitational-wave amplitude greater than $5 \times 10^{-24}$.
- Jan 07 2014 gr-qc astro-ph.CO arXiv:1401.0939v1The Numerical INJection Analysis (NINJA) project is a collaborative effort between members of the numerical relativity and gravitational-wave astrophysics communities. The purpose of NINJA is to study the ability to detect gravitational waves emitted from merging binary black holes and recover their parameters with next-generation gravitational-wave observatories. We report here on the results of the second NINJA project, NINJA-2, which employs 60 complete binary black hole hybrid waveforms consisting of a numerical portion modelling the late inspiral, merger, and ringdown stitched to a post-Newtonian portion modelling the early inspiral. In a "blind injection challenge" similar to that conducted in recent LIGO and Virgo science runs, we added 7 hybrid waveforms to two months of data recolored to predictions of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo sensitivity curves during their first observing runs. The resulting data was analyzed by gravitational-wave detection algorithms and 6 of the waveforms were recovered with false alarm rates smaller than 1 in a thousand years. Parameter estimation algorithms were run on each of these waveforms to explore the ability to constrain the masses, component angular momenta and sky position of these waveforms. We also perform a large-scale monte-carlo study to assess the ability to recover each of the 60 hybrid waveforms with early Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo sensitivity curves. Our results predict that early Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo will have a volume-weighted average sensitive distance of 300Mpc (1Gpc) for $10M_{\odot}+10M_{\odot}$ ($50M_{\odot}+50M_{\odot}$) binary black hole coalescences. We demonstrate that neglecting the component angular momenta in the waveform models used in matched-filtering will result in a reduction in sensitivity for systems with large component angular momenta. [Abstract abridged for ArXiv, full version in PDF]
- Nov 12 2013 gr-qc arXiv:1311.2409v3We report on an all-sky search for periodic gravitational waves in the frequency range $\mathrm{50-1000 Hz}$ with the first derivative of frequency in the range $-8.9 \times 10^{-10}$ Hz/s to zero in two years of data collected during LIGO's fifth science run. Our results employ a Hough transform technique, introducing a $\chi^2$ test and analysis of coincidences between the signal levels in years 1 and 2 of observations that offers a significant improvement in the product of strain sensitivity with compute cycles per data sample compared to previously published searches. Since our search yields no surviving candidates, we present results taking the form of frequency dependent, 95$%$ confidence upper limits on the strain amplitude $h_0$. The most stringent upper limit from year 1 is $1.0\times 10^{-24}$ in the $\mathrm{158.00-158.25 Hz}$ band. In year 2, the most stringent upper limit is $\mathrm{8.9\times10^{-25}}$ in the $\mathrm{146.50-146.75 Hz}$ band. This improved detection pipeline, which is computationally efficient by at least two orders of magnitude better than our flagship Einstein$@$Home search, will be important for "quick-look" searches in the Advanced LIGO and Virgo detector era.
- Oct 10 2013 gr-qc astro-ph.CO arXiv:1310.2384v2Cosmic strings can give rise to a large variety of interesting astrophysical phenomena. Among them, powerful bursts of gravitational waves (GWs) produced by cusps are a promising observational signature. In this Letter we present a search for GWs from cosmic string cusps in data collected by the LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave detectors between 2005 and 2010, with over 625 days of live time. We find no evidence of GW signals from cosmic strings. From this result, we derive new constraints on cosmic string parameters, which complement and improve existing limits from previous searches for a stochastic background of GWs from cosmic microwave background measurements and pulsar timing data. In particular, if the size of loops is given by the gravitational backreaction scale, we place upper limits on the string tension $G\mu$ below $10^{-8}$ in some regions of the cosmic string parameter space.
- Sep 25 2013 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1309.6160v3Long gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) have been linked to extreme core-collapse supernovae from massive stars. Gravitational waves (GW) offer a probe of the physics behind long GRBs. We investigate models of long-lived (~10-1000s) GW emission associated with the accretion disk of a collapsed star or with its protoneutron star remnant. Using data from LIGO's fifth science run, and GRB triggers from the swift experiment, we perform a search for unmodeled long-lived GW transients. Finding no evidence of GW emission, we place 90% confidence level upper limits on the GW fluence at Earth from long GRBs for three waveforms inspired by a model of GWs from accretion disk instabilities. These limits range from F<3.5 ergs cm^-2 to $F<1200 ergs cm^-2, depending on the GRB and on the model, allowing us to probe optimistic scenarios of GW production out to distances as far as ~33 Mpc. Advanced detectors are expected to achieve strain sensitivities 10x better than initial LIGO, potentially allowing us to probe the engines of the nearest long GRBs.
- Sep 25 2013 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1309.6221v2We present the results of a directed search for continuous gravitational waves from unknown, isolated neutron stars in the Galactic Center region, performed on two years of data from LIGO's fifth science run from two LIGO detectors. The search uses a semi-coherent approach, analyzing coherently 630 segments, each spanning 11.5 hours, and then incoherently combining the results of the single segments. It covers gravitational wave frequencies in a range from 78 to 496 Hz and a frequency-dependent range of first order spindown values down to -7.86 x 10^-8 Hz/s at the highest frequency. No gravitational waves were detected. We place 90% confidence upper limits on the gravitational wave amplitude of sources at the Galactic Center. Placing 90% confidence upper limits on the gravitational wave amplitude of sources at the Galactic Center, we reach ~3.35x10^-25 for frequencies near 150 Hz. These upper limits are the most constraining to date for a large-parameter-space search for continuous gravitational wave signals.
- Sep 17 2013 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1309.4027v3We present the results of searches for gravitational waves from a large selection of pulsars using data from the most recent science runs (S6, VSR2 and VSR4) of the initial generation of interferometric gravitational wave detectors LIGO (Laser Interferometric Gravitational-wave Observatory) and Virgo. We do not see evidence for gravitational wave emission from any of the targeted sources but produce upper limits on the emission amplitude. We highlight the results from seven young pulsars with large spin-down luminosities. We reach within a factor of five of the canonical spin-down limit for all seven of these, whilst for the Crab and Vela pulsars we further surpass their spin-down limits. We present new or updated limits for 172 other pulsars (including both young and millisecond pulsars). Now that the detectors are undergoing major upgrades, and, for completeness, we bring together all of the most up-to-date results from all pulsars searched for during the operations of the first-generation LIGO, Virgo and GEO600 detectors. This gives a total of 195 pulsars including the most recent results described in this paper.
- Sep 10 2013 gr-qc arXiv:1309.2044v1We get the same degeneracy relation between $w_0$ and $w_a$ for the tachyon fields as for quintessence and phantom fields. Our results show that the dynamics of scalar fields with different origins becomes indistinguishable when the equation of state parameter $w$ does not deviate too far away from -1, and the time variation $w'$ satisfies the same bound for the same class of models. For the tachyon fields, a limit on $w'$ exists due to the Hubble damping and we derived the generic bounds on $w'$ for different classes of models. We may distinguish different models in the phase plane of $w-w'$. The current constraints on $w$ and $w'$ are consistent with all classes of models. We need to improve the constraint on $w'$ by 50% to distinguish different models.
- We introduce a generic mechanism that can extend the effects of relic anisotropies at the beginning of inflation to relatively much shorter scales in density perturbations. This is induced by non-Bunch-Davies states of the quantum fluctuations, and can show up in the non-oscillatory components of the density perturbations. This mechanism works for general forms of anisotropies, and, to illustrate it, we use an example of relic vector field. The detailed scale-dependence of these anisotropies can be used to probe the initial quantum state of our universe.
- May 02 2013 astro-ph.CO gr-qc arXiv:1305.0055v2Based on the new cosmic CMB temperature data from the Planck satellite, the 9 year polarization data from the WMAP, the BAO distance ratio data from the SDSS and 6dF surveys, we place a new constraint on the Brans-Dicke theory. We adopt a parametrization $\zeta=\ln(1+1/\omega})$, where the general relativity (GR) limit corresponds to $\zeta = 0$. We find no evidence of deviation from general relativity. At 95% probability, $-0.00246 < \zeta < 0.00567$, correspondingly, the region $-407.0 < \omega <175.87$ is excluded. If we restrict ourselves to the $\zeta>0$ (i.e. $\omega >0$) case, then the 95% probability interval is $\zeta<0.00549$, corresponding to $\omega> 181.65$. We can also translate this result to a constraint on the variation of gravitational constant, and find the variation rate today as $\dot{G}=-1.42^{+2.48}_{-2.27} \times 10^{-13} $yr$^{-1} $ ($1\sigma$ error bar), the integrated change since the epoch of recombination is $\delta G/G = 0.0104^{+0.0186}_{-0.0067} $ ($1\sigma$ error bar). These limits on the variation of gravitational constant are comparable with the precision of solar system experiments.
- Apr 08 2013 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1304.1775v4Compact binary systems with neutron stars or black holes are one of the most promising sources for ground-based gravitational wave detectors. Gravitational radiation encodes rich information about source physics; thus parameter estimation and model selection are crucial analysis steps for any detection candidate events. Detailed models of the anticipated waveforms enable inference on several parameters, such as component masses, spins, sky location and distance that are essential for new astrophysical studies of these sources. However, accurate measurements of these parameters and discrimination of models describing the underlying physics are complicated by artifacts in the data, uncertainties in the waveform models and in the calibration of the detectors. Here we report such measurements on a selection of simulated signals added either in hardware or software to the data collected by the two LIGO instruments and the Virgo detector during their most recent joint science run, including a "blind injection" where the signal was not initially revealed to the collaboration. We exemplify the ability to extract information about the source physics on signals that cover the neutron star and black hole parameter space over the individual mass range 1 Msun - 25 Msun and the full range of spin parameters. The cases reported in this study provide a snap-shot of the status of parameter estimation in preparation for the operation of advanced detectors.
- Off-center stellar tidal disruption flares have been suggested to be a powerful probe of recoiling supermassive black holes (SMBHs) out of galactic centers due to anisotropic gravitational wave radiations. However, off-center tidal flares can also be produced by SMBHs in merging galaxies. In this paper, we computed the tidal flare rates by dual SMBHs in two merging galaxies before the SMBHs become self-gravitationally bounded. We employ an analytical model to calculate the tidal loss-cone feeding rates for both SMBHs, taking into account two-body relaxation of stars, tidal perturbations by the companion galaxy, and chaotic stellar orbits in triaxial gravitational potential. We show that for typical SMBHs with mass 10^7 M_\sun, the loss-cone feeding rates are enhanced by mergers up to \Gamma ~ 10^-2 yr^-1, about two order of magnitude higher than those by single SMBHs in isolated galaxies and about four orders of magnitude higher than those by recoiling SMBHs. The enhancements are mainly due to tidal perturbations by the companion galaxy. We suggest that off-center tidal flares are overwhelmed by those from merging galaxies, making the identification of recoiling SMBHs challenging. Based on the calculated rates, we estimate the relative contributions of tidal flare events by single, binary, and dual SMBH systems during cosmic time. Our calculations show that the off-center tidal disruption flares by un-bound SMBHs in merging galaxies contribute a fraction comparable to that by single SMBHs in isolated galaxies. We conclude that off-center tidal disruptions are powerful tracers of the merging history of galaxies and SMBHs.
- Nov 13 2012 gr-qc arXiv:1211.2360v2It has been tested precisely that the inertial and gravitational masses are equal. Here we reveal that the inertial and gravitational momenta may differ. More generally, the inertial and gravitational energy-momentum tensors may not coincide: Einstein's general relativity requires the gravitational energy-momentum tensor to be symmetric, but we show that a symmetric inertial energy-momentum tensor would ruin the concordance between conservations of quantized energy and charge. The nonsymmetric feature of the inertial energy-momentum tensor can be verified unambiguously by measuring the transverse flux of a collimated spin-polarized electron beam, and leads to a serious implication that the equivalence principle and Einstein's gravitational theory cannot be both exact.
- We report a search for gravitational waves from the inspiral, merger and ringdown of binary black holes (BBH) with total mass between 25 and 100 solar masses, in data taken at the LIGO and Virgo observatories between July 7, 2009 and October 20, 2010. The maximum sensitive distance of the detectors over this period for a (20,20) Msun coalescence was 300 Mpc. No gravitational wave signals were found. We thus report upper limits on the astrophysical coalescence rates of BBH as a function of the component masses for non-spinning components, and also evaluate the dependence of the search sensitivity on component spins aligned with the orbital angular momentum. We find an upper limit at 90% confidence on the coalescence rate of BBH with non-spinning components of mass between 19 and 28 Msun of 3.3 \times 10^-7 mergers /Mpc^3 /yr.
- Aug 01 2012 gr-qc astro-ph.IM arXiv:1207.7176v2This paper presents results of an all-sky searches for periodic gravitational waves in the frequency range [50, 1190] Hz and with frequency derivative ranges of [-2 x 10^-9, 1.1 x 10^-10] Hz/s for the fifth LIGO science run (S5). The novelty of the search lies in the use of a non-coherent technique based on the Hough-transform to combine the information from coherent searches on timescales of about one day. Because these searches are very computationally intensive, they have been deployed on the Einstein@Home distributed computing project infrastructure. The search presented here is about a factor 3 more sensitive than the previous Einstein@Home search in early S5 LIGO data. The post-processing has left us with eight surviving candidates. We show that deeper follow-up studies rule each of them out. Hence, since no statistically significant gravitational wave signals have been detected, we report upper limits on the intrinsic gravitational wave amplitude h0. For example, in the 0.5 Hz-wide band at 152.5 Hz, we can exclude the presence of signals with h0 greater than 7.6 x 10^-25 with a 90% confidence level.
- We study the contribution of spectator massive scalar fields to the inflationary density perturbations through the universal gravitational coupling. We find that such contribution has several remarkable properties: it does not decrease as the mass of the spectator field increases; it has a significant size and cannot be turned off by any adjustable parameters; and it applies to all massive scalars existed during inflation, making the overall effect unexpectedly large. As a result, the primordial density perturbations are anomalously sensitive to the high energy physics.
- Classically oscillating massive fields can be used as "standard clocks" in the primordial universe. They generate features in primordial density perturbations that directly record the scale factor evolution a(t). Detecting and measuring these "fingerprint" signals is challenging but would provide a direct evidence for a specific primordial universe paradigm. In this paper, such a search is performed for the power spectrum of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) anisotropies using the WMAP7 data. Although a good fit to the data privileges a scale around k=0.01 Mpc^(-1), we do not find statistical significance for, neither against, the presence of any feature. We then forecast the expected constraints a Planck-like CMB experiment can impose on the fingerprint parameters by using Markov-Chain-Monte-Carlo (MCMC) methods on mock data. We exhibit a high sensitivity zone for wavenumbers ranging from 0.01 Mpc^(-1) to 0.1 Mpc^(-1) in which fingerprints show up first on the posterior probability distribution of the wavenumber at which they occur, and then on the modulation frequency. Within the sensitivity zone, we show that the inflationary paradigm can be inferred from a single feature generating at least a 20% modulation of the primordial power spectrum. This minimal value sensitively depends on the modulation frequency.
- May 11 2012 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1205.2216v3We present the results of a search for gravitational waves associated with 154 gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) that were detected by satellite-based gamma-ray experiments in 2009-2010, during the sixth LIGO science run and the second and third Virgo science runs. We perform two distinct searches: a modeled search for coalescences of either two neutron stars or a neutron star and black hole; and a search for generic, unmodeled gravitational-wave bursts. We find no evidence for gravitational-wave counterparts, either with any individual GRB in this sample or with the population as a whole. For all GRBs we place lower bounds on the distance to the progenitor, under the optimistic assumption of a gravitational-wave emission energy of 10^-2 M c^2 at 150 Hz, with a median limit of 17 Mpc. For short hard GRBs we place exclusion distances on binary neutron star and neutron star-black hole progenitors, using astrophysically motivated priors on the source parameters, with median values of 16 Mpc and 28 Mpc respectively. These distance limits, while significantly larger than for a search that is not aided by GRB satellite observations, are not large enough to expect a coincidence with a GRB. However, projecting these exclusions to the sensitivities of Advanced LIGO and Virgo, which should begin operation in 2015, we find that the detection of gravitational waves associated with GRBs will become quite possible.
- May 08 2012 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1205.1124v2We present the first multi-wavelength follow-up observations of two candidate gravitational-wave (GW) transient events recorded by LIGO and Virgo in their 2009-2010 science run. The events were selected with low latency by the network of GW detectors and their candidate sky locations were observed by the Swift observatory. Image transient detection was used to analyze the collected electromagnetic data, which were found to be consistent with background. Off-line analysis of the GW data alone has also established that the selected GW events show no evidence of an astrophysical origin; one of them is consistent with background and the other one was a test, part of a "blind injection challenge". With this work we demonstrate the feasibility of rapid follow-ups of GW transients and establish the sensitivity improvement joint electromagnetic and GW observations could bring. This is a first step toward an electromagnetic follow-up program in the regime of routine detections with the advanced GW instruments expected within this decade. In that regime multi-wavelength observations will play a significant role in completing the astrophysical identification of GW sources. We present the methods and results from this first combined analysis and discuss its implications in terms of sensitivity for the present and future instruments.
- We study the effect of massive isocurvaton on density perturbations in quasi-single field inflation models, when the mass of the isocurvaton M becomes larger than the order of the Hubble parameter H. We analytically compute the correction to the power spectrum, leading order in coupling but exact for all values of mass. This verifies the previous numerical results for the range 0<M<3H/2 and shows that, in the large mass limit, the correction is of order H^2/M^2.
- Mar 27 2012 gr-qc arXiv:1203.5613v2Between 2007 and 2010 Virgo collected data in coincidence with the LIGO and GEO gravitational-wave (GW) detectors. These data have been searched for GWs emitted by cataclysmic phenomena in the universe, by non-axisymmetric rotating neutron stars or from a stochastic background in the frequency band of the detectors. The sensitivity of GW searches is limited by noise produced by the detector or its environment. It is therefore crucial to characterize the various noise sources in a GW detector. This paper reviews the Virgo detector noise sources, noise propagation, and conversion mechanisms which were identified in the three first Virgo observing runs. In many cases, these investigations allowed us to mitigate noise sources in the detector, or to selectively flag noise events and discard them from the data. We present examples from the joint LIGO-GEO-Virgo GW searches to show how well noise transients and narrow spectral lines have been identified and excluded from the Virgo data. We also discuss how detector characterization can improve the astrophysical reach of gravitational-wave searches.
- Feb 14 2012 gr-qc arXiv:1202.2788v3We present results from a search for gravitational-wave bursts in the data collected by the LIGO and Virgo detectors between July 7, 2009 and October 20, 2010: data are analyzed when at least two of the three LIGO-Virgo detectors are in coincident operation, with a total observation time of 207 days. The analysis searches for transients of duration < 1 s over the frequency band 64-5000 Hz, without other assumptions on the signal waveform, polarization, direction or occurrence time. All identified events are consistent with the expected accidental background. We set frequentist upper limits on the rate of gravitational-wave bursts by combining this search with the previous LIGO-Virgo search on the data collected between November 2005 and October 2007. The upper limit on the rate of strong gravitational-wave bursts at the Earth is 1.3 events per year at 90% confidence. We also present upper limits on source rate density per year and Mpc^3 for sample populations of standard-candle sources. As in the previous joint run, typical sensitivities of the search in terms of the root-sum-squared strain amplitude for these waveforms lie in the range 5 10^-22 Hz^-1/2 to 1 10^-20 Hz^-1/2. The combination of the two joint runs entails the most sensitive all-sky search for generic gravitational-wave bursts and synthesizes the results achieved by the initial generation of interferometric detectors.
- Jan 31 2012 gr-qc arXiv:1201.5999v3We present the results of a weakly modeled burst search for gravitational waves from mergers of non-spinning intermediate mass black holes (IMBH) in the total mass range 100--450 solar masses and with the component mass ratios between 1:1 and 4:1. The search was conducted on data collected by the LIGO and Virgo detectors between November of 2005 and October of 2007. No plausible signals were observed by the search which constrains the astrophysical rates of the IMBH mergers as a function of the component masses. In the most efficiently detected bin centered on 88+88 solar masses, for non-spinning sources, the rate density upper limit is 0.13 per Mpc^3 per Myr at the 90% confidence level.
- Supermassive black hole binaries (SMBHBs) are the products of frequent galaxy mergers. The coalescence of the SMBHBs is a distinct source of gravitational wave (GW) radiation. The detections of the strong GW radiation and their possible electromagnetic counterparts are essential. Numerical relativity suggests that the post-merger supermassive black hole (SMBH) gets a kick velocity up to 4000 km/s due to the anisotropic GW radiations. Here we investigate the dynamical co-evolution and interaction of the recoiling SMBHs and their galactic stellar environments with one million direct N-body simulations including the stellar tidal disruption by the recoiling SMBHs. Our results show that the accretion of disrupted stars does not significantly affect the SMBH dynamical evolution. We investigate the stellar tidal disruption rates as a function of the dynamical evolution of oscillating SMBHs in the galactic nuclei. Our simulations show that most of stellar tidal disruptions are contributed by the unbound stars and occur when the oscillating SMBHs pass through the galactic center. The averaged disruption rate is ~10^-6 M_⊙yr^-1, which is about an order of magnitude lower than that by a stationary SMBH at similar galactic nuclei. Our results also show that a bound star cluster is around the oscillating SMBH of about ~ 0.7% the black hole mass. In addition, we discover a massive cloud of unbound stars following the oscillating SMBH. We also investigate the dependence of the results on the SMBH masses and density slopes of the galactic nuclei.
- Dec 22 2011 gr-qc arXiv:1112.5004v4A stochastic background of gravitational waves is expected to arise from a superposition of many incoherent sources of gravitational waves, of either cosmological or astrophysical origin. This background is a target for the current generation of ground-based detectors. In this article we present the first joint search for a stochastic background using data from the LIGO and Virgo interferometers. In a frequency band of 600-1000 Hz, we obtained a 95% upper limit on the amplitude of $\Omega_{\rm GW}(f) = \Omega_3 (f/900 \mathrm{Hz})^3$, of $\Omega_3 < 0.33$, assuming a value of the Hubble parameter of $h_{100}=0.72$. These new limits are a factor of seven better than the previous best in this frequency band.
- Dec 07 2011 astro-ph.CO gr-qc arXiv:1112.1081v1Numerical relativity simulations predict that coalescence of supermassive black hole (SMBH) binaries not only leads to a spin flip but also to a recoiling of the merger remnant SMBHs. In the literature, X-shaped radio sources are popularly suggested to be candidates for SMBH mergers with spin flip of jet-ejecting SMBHs. Here we investigate the spectral and spatial observational signatures of the recoiling SMBHs in radio sources undergoing black hole spin flip. Our results show that SMBHs in most spin-flip radio sources have mass ratio $q\ga 0.3$ with a minimum possible value $q_{\rm min} \simeq 0.05$. For major mergers, the remnant SMBHs can get a kick velocity as high as $2100 km s^{-1}$ in the direction within an angle $\la 40^\circ$ relative to the spin axes of remnant SMBHs, implying that recoiling quasars are biased to be with high Doppler-shifted broad emission lines while recoiling radio galaxies are biased to large apparent spatial off-center displacements. We also calculate the distribution functions of line-of-sight velocity and apparent spatial off-center for spin-flip radio sources with different apparent jet reorientation angles. Our results show that the larger the apparent jet reorientation angle is, the larger the Doppler-shifting recoiling velocity and apparent spatial off-center displacement will be. We investigate the effects of recoiling velocity on the dust torus in spin-flip radio sources and suggest that recoiling of SMBHs would lead to "dust poor" AGNs. Finally, we collect a sample of 19 X-shaped radio objects and for each object give the probability of detecting the predicted signatures of recoiling SMBH.
- The transient acceleration which the current cosmic acceleration is not eternal is possible by introducing the interaction between dark matter and dark energy. If the energy transfer is from dark energy to dark matter, then it is possible to realize the transient acceleration. We study the possibility of transient acceleration by considering two time-dependent phenomenological interaction forms so that the energy transfer increases as the universe evolves. Starting from a simple and extending to a more complicated ansatz, we obtain analytical expressions for the evolutions of the deceleration and the various energy density parameters. We find the ranges of the parameters in the models for a transient acceleration.
- We present new exact solutions which presumably describe black holes in the background of a spatially flat, pressureless dark matter (DM)-, or dark matter plus dark energy (DM+DE)-, or quintom-dominated universe. These solutions generalize Lemaitre-Tolman-Bondi metrics. For a DM- or (DM+DE)-dominated universe, the area of the black hole apparent horizon (AH) decreases with the expansion of the universe while that of the cosmic AH increases. However, for a quintom-dominated universe, the black hole AH first shrinks and then expands, while the cosmic AH first expands and then shrinks. A (DM+DE)-dominated universe containing a black hole will evolve to the Schwarzschild-de Sitter solution with both AHs approaching constant size. In a quintom-dominated universe, the black hole and cosmic AHs will coincide at a certain time, after which the singularity becomes naked, violating Cosmic Censorship.
- Jul 04 2011 gr-qc astro-ph.CO arXiv:1107.0319v1We derive causal relativistic fluid dynamical equations from the relaxation model of kinetic theory as in a procedure previously applied in the case of non-relativistic rarefied gases. By treating space and time on an equal footing and avoiding the iterative steps of the conventional Chapman-Enskog --- CE---method, we are able to derive causal equations in the first order of the expansion in terms of the mean flight time of the particles. This is in contrast to what is found using the CE approach. We illustrate the general results with the example of a gas of identical ultrarelativistic particles such as photons under the assumptions of homogeneity and isotropy. When we couple the fluid dynamical equations to Einstein's equation we find, in addition to the geometry-driven expanding solution of the FRW model, a second, matter-driven nonequilibrium solution to the equations. In only the second solution, entropy is produced at a significant rate.
- Following the recent studies of the trickiness in spin and orbital angular momentum of the vector gauge fields, we perform here a parallel analysis for the tensor gauge field, which has certain relation to gravitation. Similarly to the vector case, we find a nice feature that after removing all gauge degrees of freedom the angular momentum of the tensor gauge field vanishes for a stationary system. This angular momentum also shows a one-parameter invariance over the infinitely many ways of complete gauge fixing for the tensor field. The tensor gauge coupling, however, does exhibit a critical difference from the vector gauge coupling that it may induce intrinsic interaction terms into the spatial translation and rotation generators, leaving none of the ten Poincaré generators interaction-free.
- The matter density field exhibits a nearly lognormal probability density distribution (PDF) after entering into the nonlinear regime. Recently, it has been shown that the shape of the power spectrum of a logarithmically transformed density field is very close to the linear density power spectrum, motivating an analytic study of it. In this paper, we develop cosmological perturbation theory for the power spectrum of this field. Our formalism is developed in the context of renormalized perturbation theory, which helps to regulate the convergence behavior of the perturbation series, and of the Taylor- series expansion we use of the logarithmic mapping. This approach allows us to handle the critical issue of density smoothing in a straightforward way. We also compare our perturbative results with simulation measurements.
- We discuss various proposals of separating a tensor field into pure-gauge and gauge-invariant components. Such tensor field decomposition is intimately related to the effort of identifying the real gravitational degrees of freedom out of the metric tensor in Einstein's general relativity. We show that, as for a vector field, the tensor field decomposition has exact correspondence to, and can be derived from, the gauge-fixing approach. The complication for the tensor field, however, is that there are infinitely many complete gauge conditions, in contrast to the uniqueness of Coulomb gauge for a vector field. We make an extensive exploration of these tensor gauge conditions and their corresponding tensor field decompositions, regarding mathematical structures, equations of motion, nonlinear properties; and show that apparently no single choice is superior in all aspects.
- The genus of the iso-density contours is a robust measure of the topology of large scale structure, and it is relatively insensitive to nonlinear gravitational evolution, galaxy bias and redshift-space distortion. We show that the growth of density fluctuations is scale-dependent even in the linear regime in some modified gravity theories, which opens a new possibility of testing the theories observationally. We propose to use the genus of the iso-density contours, an intrinsic measure of the topology of large scale structure, as a statistic to be used in such tests. In Einstein's general theory of relativity, density fluctuations are growing at the same rate on all scales in the linear regime, and the genus per comoving volume is almost conserved as structures are growing homologously, so we expect that the genus-smoothing scale relation is basically time-independent. However, in some modified gravity models where structures grow with different rates on different scales, the genus-smoothing scale relation should change over time. This can be used to test the gravity models with large scale structure observations. We studied the case of the f(R) theory, DGP braneworld theory as well as the parameterized post-Friedmann (PPF) models. We also forecast how the modified gravity models can be constrained with optical/IR or redshifted 21cm radio surveys in the near future.
- We examine the effectiveness of the weak gravity conjecture in constraining the dark energy by comparing with observations. For general dark energy models with plausible phenomenological interactions between dark sectors, we find that although the weak gravity conjecture can constrain the dark energy, the constraint is looser than that from the observations.
- Physical decomposition of the non-Abelian gauge field has recently solved the two-decade-lasting problem of a meaningful gluon spin. Here we extend this approach to gravity and attack the century-lasting problem of a meaningful gravitational energy. The metric is unambiguously separated into a pure geometric term which contributes null curvature tensor, and a physical term which represents the true gravitational effect and always vanishes in a flat space-time. By this decomposition the conventional pseudo-tensors of the gravitational stress-energy are easily rescued to produce definite physical result. Our decomposition applies to any symmetric tensor, and has interesting relation to the transverse-traceless (TT) decomposition discussed by Arnowitt, Deser and Misner, and by York.
- Corresponding to the similarity between the Lorentz gauge $\partial_\mu A^\mu=0$ in electrodynamics and $g^{\mu\nu}\Gamma^\rho_{\mu\nu}=0$ in gravity, we show that the counterpart of the radiation gauge $\partial_iA^i=0$ is $g^{ij}\Gamma^\rho_{ij}=0$, in stead of other forms as discussed before. Particularly: 1) at least for a weak field, $g^{ij}\Gamma^\rho_{ij}=0$ fixes the gauge completely and picks out exactly the two physical components of the gravitational field; 2) like $A^0$, the non-dynamical components $h_{0\mu}$ are solved instantaneously; 3) gravitational radiation is generated by the "transverse" part of the energy-momentum tensor, similar to the transverse current $\vec J_\perp$. This true" radiation gauge $g^{ij}\Gamma^\rho_{ij}=0$ is especially pertinent for studying gravitational energy, such as the energy flow in gravitational radiation. It agrees with the transverse-traceless (TT) gauge for a pure wave, and reveals remarkably how the TT gauge can be adapted in the presence of source.
- We first consider the Einstein-aether theory with a gravitational coupling and a Lagrange multiplier field, and then consider the non-minimally coupled quintessence field theory with Lagrange multiplier field. We study the influence of the Lagrange multiplier field on these models. We show that the energy density evolution of the Einstein-aether field and the quintessence field are significantly modified. The energy density of the Einstein-aether is nearly a constant during the entire history of the Universe. The energy density of the quintessence field can also be kept nearly constant in the matter dominated Universe, or even exhibit a phantom-like behavior for some models. This suggests a possible dynamical origin of the cosmological constant or dark energy. Further more, for the canonical quintessence in the absence of gravitational coupling, we find that the quintessence scalar field can play the role of cold dark matter with the introduction of a Lagrange multiplier field. We conclude that the Lagrange multiplier field could play a very interesting and important role in the construction of cosmological models.