results for au:Cornish_N in:gr-qc

- 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 30 2018 gr-qc arXiv:1801.09009v2The loss of orbital energy and angular momentum to gravitational waves produced in a binary inspiral forces the orbital eccentricity to evolve. For comparable-mass binaries, the eccentricity is thought to decrease monotonically in the inspiral, circularizing the binary. Contrary to this, we here show that, once the eccentricity is small enough, radiation reaction forces the eccentricity to grow secularly before the binary reaches the last stable orbit and merges. We explore this behavior, its physical consequences, and its potential impact on future gravitational wave observations.
- We search for an isotropic stochastic gravitational-wave background (GWB) in the newly released $11$-year dataset from the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav). While we find no significant evidence for a GWB, we place constraints on a GWB from a population of supermassive black-hole binaries, from cosmic strings, and from a primordial GWB. For the first time, we find that the GWB upper limits and detection statistics are sensitive to the Solar System ephemeris (SSE) model used, and that SSE errors can mimic a GWB signal. To mitigate this effect, we developed and implemented a novel approach that bridges systematic SSE differences, producing the first PTA constraints that are robust against SSE uncertainties. We place a $95\%$ upper limit on the GW strain amplitude of $A_\mathrm{GWB}<1.45\times 10^{-15}$ at a frequency of $f=1$ yr$^{-1}$ for a fiducial $f^{-2/3}$ power-law spectrum, and with inter-pulsar correlations modeled. This is a factor of $\sim 2$ improvement over the NANOGrav $9$-year limit, calculated using the same procedure. Previous PTA upper limits on the GWB will need revision in light of SSE systematic uncertainties. We also characterize the combined influence of the mass-density of stars in galactic cores, the eccentricity of binaries at formation, and the relation between the mass of the central supermassive black hole and the galactic bulge (the $M_\mathrm{BH}-M_\mathrm{bulge}$ relation). We constrain cosmic-string tension on the basis of recent simulations, yielding an SSE-marginalized 95\% upper limit on the cosmic string tension of $G\mu < 5.3\times 10^{-11}$---a factor of $\sim 2$ better than the NANOGrav $9$-year constraints. We then use our new Bayesian SSE model to limit the energy density of primordial GWBs, corresponding to $\Omega_\mathrm{GWB}(f)h^2<3.4 \times 10^{-10}$ for a radiation-dominated inflationary era. [ABRIDGED]
- Dec 21 2017 gr-qc arXiv:1712.07132v1The opening of the gravitational wave window by ground-based laser interferometers has made possible many new tests of gravity, including the first constraints on polarization. It is hoped that within the next decade pulsar timing will extend the window by making the first detections in the nano-Hertz frequency regime. Pulsar timing offers several advantages over ground-based interferometers for constraining the polarization of gravitational waves due to the many projections of the polarization pattern provided by the different lines of sight to the pulsars, and the enhanced response to longitudinal polarizations. Here we show that existing results from pulsar timing arrays can be used to place stringent limits on the energy density of longitudinal stochastic gravitational waves. Paradoxically however, we find that longitudinal modes will be very difficult to detect due to the large variance in the pulsar-pulsar correlation patterns for these modes. Existing upper limits on the power spectrum of pulsar timing residuals imply that the amplitude of vector longitudinal and scalar longitudinal modes at frequencies of 1/year are constrained: ${\cal A}_{\rm VL} < 4.1\times 10^{-16}$ and ${\cal A}_{\rm SL} < 3.7\times 10^{-17}$, while the bounds on the energy density for a scale invariant cosmological background are: $\Omega_{\rm VL}h^2 < 3.5 \times 10^{-11}$ and $\Omega_{\rm SL}h^2 < 3.2 \times 10^{-13}$.
- Dec 05 2017 gr-qc astro-ph.CO arXiv:1712.01168v1Cosmic strings are topological defects which can be formed in GUT-scale phase transitions in the early universe. They are also predicted to form in the context of string theory. The main mechanism for a network of Nambu-Goto cosmic strings to lose energy is through the production of loops and the subsequent emission of gravitational waves, thus offering an experimental signature for the existence of cosmic strings. Here we report on the analysis conducted to specifically search for gravitational-wave bursts from cosmic string loops in the data of Advanced LIGO 2015-2016 observing run (O1). No evidence of such signals was found in the data, and as a result we set upper limits on the cosmic string parameters for three recent loop distribution models. In this paper, we initially derive constraints on the string tension $G\mu$ and the intercommutation probability, using not only the burst analysis performed on the O1 data set, but also results from the previously published LIGO stochastic O1 analysis, pulsar timing arrays, cosmic microwave background and Big-Bang nucleosynthesis experiments. We show that these data sets are complementary in that they probe gravitational waves produced by cosmic string loops during very different epochs. Finally, we show that the data sets exclude large parts of the parameter space of the three loop distribution models we consider.
- Nov 21 2017 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1711.06843v1We present the results of a search for long-duration gravitational wave transients in the data of the LIGO Hanford and LIGO Livingston second generation detectors between September 2015 and January 2016, with a total observational time of 49 days. The search targets gravitational wave transients of \unit[10 -- 500]s duration in a frequency band of \unit[24 -- 2048]Hz, with minimal assumptions about the signal waveform, polarization, source direction, or time of occurrence. No significant events were observed. %All candidate triggers were consistent with the expected background, As a result we set 90\% confidence upper limits on the rate of long-duration gravitational wave transients for different types of gravitational wave signals. We also show that the search is sensitive to sources in the Galaxy emitting at least $\sim$ \unit[$10^{-8}$]$\mathrm{M_{\odot} c^2}$ in gravitational waves.
- 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.
- Nov 02 2017 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1711.00040v2We present a robust method to characterize the gravitational wave emission from the remnant of a neutron star coalescence. Our approach makes only minimal assumptions about the morphology of the signal and provides a full posterior probability distribution of the underlying waveform. We apply our method on simulated data from a network of advanced ground-based detectors and demonstrate the gravitational wave signal reconstruction. We study the reconstruction quality for different binary configurations and equations of state for the colliding neutron stars. We show how our method can be used to constrain the yet-uncertain equation of state of neutron star matter. The constraints on the equation of state we derive are complimentary to measurements of the tidal deformation of the colliding neutron stars during the late inspiral phase. In the case of a non-detection of a post-merger signal following a binary neutron star inspiral we show that we can place upper limits on the energy emitted.
- 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.IM arXiv:1710.02185v3The first observing run of Advanced LIGO spanned 4 months, from September 12, 2015 to January 19, 2016, during which gravitational waves were directly detected from two binary black hole systems, namely GW150914 and GW151226. Confident detection of gravitational waves requires an understanding of instrumental transients and artifacts that can reduce the sensitivity of a search. Studies of the quality of the detector data yield insights into the cause of instrumental artifacts and data quality vetoes specific to a search are produced to mitigate the effects of problematic data. In this paper, the systematic removal of noisy data from analysis time is shown to improve the sensitivity of searches for compact binary coalescences. The output of the PyCBC pipeline, which is a python-based code package used to search for gravitational wave signals from compact binary coalescences, is used as a metric for improvement. GW150914 was a loud enough signal that removing noisy data did not improve its significance. However, the removal of data with excess noise decreased the false alarm rate of GW151226 by more than two orders of magnitude, from 1 in 770 years to less than 1 in 186000 years.
- 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 arXiv:1709.09203v1We present results from the first directed search for nontensorial gravitational waves. While general relativity allows for tensorial (plus and cross) modes only, a generic metric theory may, in principle, predict waves with up to six different polarizations. This analysis is sensitive to continuous signals of scalar, vector or tensor polarizations, and does not rely on any specific theory of gravity. After searching data from the first observation run of the advanced LIGO detectors for signals at twice the rotational frequency of 200 known pulsars, we find no evidence of gravitational waves of any polarization. We report the first upper limits for scalar and vector strains, finding values comparable in magnitude to previously-published limits for tensor strain. Our results may be translated into constraints on specific alternative theories of gravity.
- 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.
- The time delay between gravitational wave signals arriving at widely separated detectors can be used to place upper and lower bounds on the speed of gravitational wave propagation. Using a Bayesian approach that combines the first three gravitational wave detections reported by the LIGO collaboration we constrain the gravitational waves propagation speed c_gw to the 90% credible interval 0.55 c < c_gw < 1.42 c, where c is the speed of light in vacuum. These bounds will improve as more detections are made and as more detectors join the worldwide network. Of order twenty detections by the two LIGO detectors will constrain the speed of gravity to within 20% of the speed of light, while just five detections by the LIGO-Virgo-Kagra network will constrain the speed of gravity to within 1% of the speed of light.
- Jul 11 2017 gr-qc astro-ph.IM arXiv:1707.02667v2We report on an all-sky search for periodic gravitational waves in the frequency band 20-475 Hz and with a frequency time derivative in the range of [-1.0, +0.1]e-8 Hz/s. Such a signal 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 periodic gravitational wave signals were observed, and upper limits were placed on their strengths. The lowest upper limits on worst-case (linearly polarized) strain amplitude h0 are 4e-25 near 170 Hz. For a circularly polarized source (most favorable orientation), the smallest upper limits obtained are 1.5e-25. These upper limits refer to all sky locations and the entire range of frequency derivative values. For a population-averaged ensemble of sky locations and stellar orientations, the lowest upper limits obtained for the strain amplitude are 2.5e-25.
- Jul 11 2017 gr-qc arXiv:1707.02669v2We report results of a deep all-sky search for periodic gravitational waves from isolated neutron stars in data from the first Advanced LIGO observing run. This search investigates the low frequency range of Advanced LIGO data, between 20 and 100 Hz, much of which was not explored in initial LIGO. The search was made possible by the computing power provided by the volunteers of the Einstein@Home project. We find no significant signal candidate and set the most stringent upper limits to date on the amplitude of gravitational wave signals from the target population, corresponding to a sensitivity depth of 48.7 [1/$\sqrt{{\textrm{Hz}}}$]. At the frequency of best strain sensitivity, near 100 Hz, we set 90% confidence upper limits of $1.8 \times 10^{-25}$. At the low end of our frequency range, 20 Hz, we achieve upper limits of $3.9 \times 10^{-24}$. At 55 Hz we can exclude sources with ellipticities greater than $10^{-5}$ within 100 pc of Earth with fiducial value of the principal moment of inertia of $10^{38} \textrm{kg m}^2$.
- Jun 13 2017 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1706.03119v3We present the results of a semicoherent search for continuous gravitational waves from the low-mass X-ray binary Scorpius X-1, using data from the first Advanced LIGO observing run. The search method uses details of the modelled, parametrized continuous signal to combine coherently data separated by less than a specified coherence time, which can be adjusted to trade off sensitivity against computational cost. A search was conducted over the frequency range from 25 Hz to 2000 Hz, spanning the current observationally-constrained range of the binary orbital parameters. No significant detection candidates were found, and frequency-dependent upper limits were set using a combination of sensitivity estimates and simulated signal injections. The most stringent upper limit was set at 175 Hz, with comparable limits set across the most sensitive frequency range from 100 Hz to 200 Hz. At this frequency, the 95 pct upper limit on signal amplitude h0 is 2.3e-25 marginalized over the unknown inclination angle of the neutron star's spin, and 8.03e-26 assuming the best orientation (which results in circularly polarized gravitational waves). These limits are a factor of 3-4 stronger than those set by other analyses of the same data, and a factor of about 7 stronger than the best upper limits set using initial LIGO data. In the vicinity of 100 Hz, the limits are a factor of between 1.2 and 3.5 above the predictions of the torque balance model, depending on inclination angle, if the most likely inclination angle of 44 degrees is assumed, they are within a factor of 1.7.
- Jun 07 2017 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1706.01812v1We describe the observation of GW170104, a gravitational-wave signal produced by the coalescence of a pair of stellar-mass black holes. The signal was measured on January 4, 2017 at 10:11:58.6 UTC by the twin advanced detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory during their second observing run, with a network signal-to-noise ratio of 13 and a false alarm rate less than 1 in 70,000 years. The inferred component black hole masses are $31.2^{+8.4}_{-6.0}\,M_\odot$ and $19.4^{+5.3}_{-5.9}\,M_\odot$ (at the 90% credible level). The black hole spins are best constrained through measurement of the effective inspiral spin parameter, a mass-weighted combination of the spin components perpendicular to the orbital plane, $\chi_\mathrm{eff} = -0.12^{+0.21}_{-0.30}.$ This result implies that spin configurations with both component spins positively aligned with the orbital angular momentum are disfavored. The source luminosity distance is $880^{+450}_{-390}~\mathrm{Mpc}$ corresponding to a redshift of $z = 0.18^{+0.08}_{-0.07}$. We constrain the magnitude of modifications to the gravitational-wave dispersion relation and perform null tests of general relativity. Assuming that gravitons are dispersed in vacuum like massive particles, we bound the graviton mass to $m_g \le 7.7 \times 10^{-23}~\mathrm{eV}/c^2$. In all cases, we find that GW170104 is consistent with general relativity.
- May 29 2017 gr-qc arXiv:1705.09421v1The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) will explore the source-rich milli-Hertz band of the gravitational wave spectrum. In contrast to ground based detectors, where typical signals are short-lived and discrete, LISA signals are typically long-lived and over-lapping, thus requiring a global data analysis solution that is very different to the source-by-source analysis that has been developed for ground based gravitational wave astronomy. Across the LISA band, gravitational waves are both signals \em and noise. The dominant contribution to this so-called confusion noise (better termed unresolved signal noise) is expected to come from short period galactic white dwarf binaries, but all sources, including massive black hole binaries and extreme mass ratio captures will also contribute. Previous estimates for the galactic confusion noise have assumed perfect signal subtraction. Here we provide analytic estimates for the signal subtraction residuals and the impact they have on parameter estimation while for the first time incorporating the effects of noise modeling. The analytic estimates are found using a maximum likelihood approximation to the full global Bayesian analysis. We find that while the confusion noise is \em lowered in the global analysis, the waveform errors for individual sources are \em increased relative to estimates for isolated signals. We provide estimates for how parameter estimation errors are inflated from various parts of a global analysis.
- Apr 18 2017 gr-qc arXiv:1704.04628v4During their first observational run, the two Advanced LIGO detectors attained an unprecedented sensitivity, resulting in the first direct detections of gravitational-wave signals and GW151226, produced by stellar-mass binary black hole systems. This paper reports on an all-sky search for gravitational waves (GWs) from merging intermediate mass black hole binaries (IMBHBs). The combined results from two independent search techniques were used in this study: the first employs a matched-filter algorithm that uses a bank of filters covering the GW signal parameter space, while the second is a generic search for GW transients (bursts). No GWs from IMBHBs were detected, therefore, we constrain the rate of several classes of IMBHB mergers. The most stringent limit is obtained for black holes of individual mass $100\,M_\odot$, with spins aligned with the binary orbital angular momentum. For such systems, the merger rate is constrained to be less than $0.93~\mathrm{Gpc^{-3}\,yr}^{-1}$ in comoving units at the $90\%$ confidence level, an improvement of nearly 2 orders of magnitude over previous upper limits.
- Apr 13 2017 gr-qc arXiv:1704.03719v3Results are presented from a semi-coherent search for continuous gravitational waves from the brightest low-mass X-ray binary, Scorpius X-1, using data collected during the first Advanced LIGO observing run (O1). The search combines a frequency domain matched filter (Bessel-weighted $\mathcal{F}$-statistic) with a hidden Markov model to track wandering of the neutron star spin frequency. No evidence of gravitational waves is found in the frequency range 60-650 Hz. Frequentist 95% confidence strain upper limits, $h_0^{95\%} = 4.0\times10^{-25}$, $8.3\times10^{-25}$, and $3.0\times10^{-25}$ for electromagnetically restricted source orientation, unknown polarization, and circular polarization, respectively, are reported at 106 Hz. They are $\leq 10$ times higher than the theoretical torque-balance limit at 106 Hz.
- Mar 30 2017 astro-ph.IM gr-qc arXiv:1703.09858v2Building on the great success of the LISA Pathfinder mission, the outlines of a new LISA mission design were laid out at the $11^{\rm th}$ International LISA Symposium in Zurich. The revised design calls for three identical spacecraft forming an equilateral triangle with 2.5 million kilometer sides, and two laser links per side delivering full polarization sensitivity. With the demonstrated Pathfinder performance for the disturbance reduction system, and a well studied design for the laser metrology, it is anticipated that the new mission will have a sensitivity very close to the original LISA design. This implies that the mid-band performance, between 0.5 mHz and 3 mHz, will be limited by unresolved signals from compact binaries in our galaxy. Here we use the new LISA design to compute updated estimates for the galactic confusion noise, the number of resolvable galactic binaries, and the accuracy to which key parameters of these systems can be measured.
- Mar 14 2017 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1703.03967v3The coalescence of compact objects is one of the most promising sources of gravitational waves for ground-based interferometric detectors, such as advanced LIGO and Virgo. Generically, com- pact objects in binaries are expected to be spinning with spin angular momenta misaligned with the orbital angular momentum, causing the orbital plane to precess. This precession adds rich structure to the gravitational waves, introducing such complexity that an analytic closed-form description has been unavailable until now. We here construct the first closed-form frequency- domain gravitational waveforms that are valid for generic spin-precessing quasicircular compact binary inspirals. We first construct time-domain gravitational waves by solving the post-Newtonian precession equations of motion with radiation reaction through multiple scale analysis. We then Fourier transform these time-domain waveforms with the method of shifted uniform asymptotics to obtain closed-form expressions for frequency-domain waveforms. We study the accuracy of these analytic, frequency-domain waveforms relative to waveforms obtained by numerically evolving the post-Newtonian equations of motion and find that they are suitable for unbiased parameter estimation for 99.2%(94.6%) of the binary configurations we studied at a signal-to-noise ratio of 10(25). These new frequency-domain waveforms could be used for detection and parameter estimation studies due to their accuracy and low computational cost.
- Jan 27 2017 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1701.07709v5We present the result of searches for gravitational waves from 200 pulsars using data from the first observing run of the Advanced LIGO detectors. We find no significant evidence for a gravitational-wave signal from any of these pulsars, but we are able to set the most constraining upper limits yet on their gravitational-wave amplitudes and ellipticities. For eight of these pulsars, our upper limits give bounds that are improvements over the indirect spin-down limit values. For another 32, we are within a factor of 10 of the spin-down limit, and it is likely that some of these will be reachable in future runs of the advanced detector. Taken as a whole, these new results improve on previous limits by more than a factor of two.
- Dec 26 2016 astro-ph.IM gr-qc arXiv:1612.07864v1Hardware injections are simulated gravitational-wave signals added to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). The detectors' test masses are physically displaced by an actuator in order to simulate the effects of a gravitational wave. The simulated signal initiates a control-system response which mimics that of a true gravitational wave. This provides an end-to-end test of LIGO's ability to observe gravitational waves. The gravitational-wave analyses used to detect and characterize signals are exercised with hardware injections. By looking for discrepancies between the injected and recovered signals, we are able to characterize the performance of analyses and the coupling of instrumental subsystems to the detectors' output channels. This paper describes the hardware injection system and the recovery of injected signals representing binary black hole mergers, a stochastic gravitational wave background, spinning neutron stars, and sine-Gaussians.
- We employ gravitational-wave radiometry to map the gravitational waves stochastic background expected from a variety of contributing mechanisms and test the assumption of isotropy using data from Advanced LIGO's first observing run. We also search for persistent gravitational waves from point sources with only minimal assumptions over the 20 - 1726 Hz frequency band. Finding no evidence of gravitational waves from either point sources or a stochastic background, we set limits at 90% confidence. For broadband point sources, we report upper limits on the gravitational wave energy flux per unit frequency in the range $F_{\alpha,\Theta}(f) < (0.1 - 56) \times 10^{-8}$ erg cm$^{-2}$ s$^{-1}$ Hz$^{-1}$ (f/25 Hz)$^{\alpha-1}$ depending on the sky location $\Theta$ and the spectral power index $\alpha$. For extended sources, we report upper limits on the fractional gravitational wave energy density required to close the Universe of $\Omega(f,\Theta) < (0.39-7.6) \times 10^{-8}$ sr$^{-1}$ (f/25 Hz)$^\alpha$ depending on $\Theta$ and $\alpha$. Directed searches for narrowband gravitational waves from astrophysically interesting objects (Scorpius X-1, Supernova 1987 A, and the Galactic Center) yield median frequency-dependent limits on strain amplitude of $h_0 <$ (6.7, 5.5, and 7.0) $\times 10^{-25}$ respectively, at the most sensitive detector frequencies between 130 - 175 Hz. This represents a mean improvement of a factor of 2 across the band compared to previous searches of this kind for these sky locations, considering the different quantities of strain constrained in each case.
- A wide variety of astrophysical and cosmological sources are expected to contribute to a stochastic gravitational-wave background. Following the observations of GW150914 and GW151226, the rate and mass of coalescing binary black holes appear to be greater than many previous expectations. As a result, the stochastic background from unresolved compact binary coalescences is expected to be particularly loud. We perform a search for the isotropic stochastic gravitational-wave background using data from Advanced LIGO's first observing run. The data display no evidence of a stochastic gravitational-wave signal. We constrain the dimensionless energy density of gravitational waves to be $\Omega_0<1.7\times 10^{-7}$ with 95% confidence, assuming a flat energy density spectrum in the most sensitive part of the LIGO band (20-86 Hz). This is a factor of ~33 times more sensitive than previous measurements. We also constrain arbitrary power-law spectra. Finally, we investigate the implications of this search for the background of binary black holes using an astrophysical model for the background.
- Nov 24 2016 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1611.07531v2Parameter estimates of GW150914 were obtained using Bayesian inference, based on three semi-analytic waveform models for binary black hole coalescences. These waveform models differ from each other in their treatment of black hole spins, and all three models make some simplifying assumptions, notably to neglect sub-dominant waveform harmonic modes and orbital eccentricity. Furthermore, while the models are calibrated to agree with waveforms obtained by full numerical solutions of Einstein's equations, any such calibration is accurate only to some non-zero tolerance and is limited by the accuracy of the underlying phenomenology, availability, quality, and parameter-space coverage of numerical simulations. This paper complements the original analyses of GW150914 with an investigation of the effects of possible systematic errors in the waveform models on estimates of its source parameters. To test for systematic errors we repeat the original Bayesian analyses on mock signals from numerical simulations of a series of binary configurations with parameters similar to those found for GW150914. Overall, we find no evidence for a systematic bias relative to the statistical error of the original parameter recovery of GW150914 due to modeling approximations or modeling inaccuracies. However, parameter biases are found to occur for some configurations disfavored by the data of GW150914: for binaries inclined edge-on to the detector over a small range of choices of polarization angles, and also for eccentricities greater than $\sim$0.05. For signals with higher signal-to-noise ratio than GW150914, or in other regions of the binary parameter space (lower masses, larger mass ratios, or higher spins), we expect that systematic errors in current waveform models may impact gravitational-wave measurements, making more accurate models desirable for future observations.
- Nov 24 2016 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1611.07947v3We present the results of the search for gravitational waves (GWs) associated with $\gamma$-ray bursts detected during the first observing run of the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). We find no evidence of a GW signal for any of the 41 $\gamma$-ray bursts for which LIGO data are available with sufficient duration. For all $\gamma$-ray bursts, we place lower bounds on the distance to the source using the optimistic assumption that GWs with an energy of $10^{-2}M_\odot c^2$ were emitted within the $16$-$500\,$Hz band, and we find a median 90% confidence limit of 71$\,$Mpc at 150$\,$Hz. For the subset of 19 short/hard $\gamma$-ray bursts, we place lower bounds on distance with a median 90% confidence limit of 90$\,$Mpc for binary neutron star (BNS) coalescences, and 150 and 139$\,$Mpc for neutron star-black hole coalescences with spins aligned to the orbital angular momentum and in a generic configuration, respectively. These are the highest distance limits ever achieved by GW searches. We also discuss in detail the results of the search for GWs associated with GRB 150906B, an event that was localized by the InterPlanetary Network near the local galaxy NGC 3313, which is at a luminosity distance of 54$\,$Mpc ($z=0.0124$). Assuming the $\gamma$-ray emission is beamed with a jet half-opening angle $\leq 30^{\circ}$, we exclude a BNS and a neutron star-black hole in NGC 3313 as the progenitor of this event with confidence $>99$%. Further, we exclude such progenitors up to a distance of 102$\,$Mpc and 170$\,$Mpc, respectively.
- Nov 10 2016 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1611.02972v1We present the results from an all-sky search for short-duration gravitational waves in the data of the first run of the Advanced LIGO detectors between September 2015 and January 2016. The search algorithms use minimal assumptions on the signal morphology, so they are sensitive to a wide range of sources emitting gravitational waves. The analyses target transient signals with duration ranging from milliseconds to seconds over the frequency band of 32 to 4096 Hz. The first observed gravitational-wave event, GW150914, has been detected with high confidence in this search; other known gravitational-wave events fall below the search's sensitivity. Besides GW150914, all of the search results are consistent with the expected rate of accidental noise coincidences. Finally, we estimate rate-density limits for a broad range of non-BBH transient gravitational-wave sources as a function of their gravitational radiation emission energy and their characteristic frequency. These rate-density upper-limits are stricter than those previously published by an order-of-magnitude.
- Aug 25 2016 gr-qc arXiv:1608.06889v2We review detection methods that are currently in use or have been proposed to search for a stochastic background of gravitational radiation. We consider both Bayesian and frequentist searches using ground-based and space-based laser interferometers, spacecraft Doppler tracking, and pulsar timing arrays; and we allow for anisotropy, non-Gaussianity, and non-standard polarization states. Our focus is on relevant data analysis issues, and not on the particular astrophysical or early Universe sources that might give rise to such backgrounds. We provide a unified treatment of these searches at the level of detector response functions, detection sensitivity curves, and, more generally, at the level of the likelihood function, since the choice of signal and noise models and prior probability distributions are actually what define the search. Pedagogical examples are given whenever possible to compare and contrast different approaches. We have tried to make the article as self-contained and comprehensive as possible, targeting graduate students and new researchers looking to enter this field.
- We report here the non-detection of gravitational waves from the merger of binary neutron star systems and neutron-star--black-hole systems during the first observing run of Advanced LIGO. In particular we searched for gravitational wave signals from binary neutron star systems with component masses $\in [1,3] M_{\odot}$ and component dimensionless spins $< 0.05$. We also searched for neutron-star--black-hole systems with the same neutron star parameters, black hole mass $\in [2,99] M_{\odot}$ and no restriction on the black hole spin magnitude. We assess the sensitivity of the two LIGO detectors to these systems, and find that they could have detected the merger of binary neutron star systems with component mass distributions of $1.35\pm0.13 M_{\odot}$ at a volume-weighted average distance of $\sim$ 70Mpc, and for neutron-star--black-hole systems with neutron star masses of $1.4M_\odot$ and black hole masses of at least $5M_\odot$, a volume-weighted average distance of at least $\sim$ 110Mpc. From this we constrain with 90% confidence the merger rate to be less than 12,600 Gpc$^{-3}$yr$^{-1}$ for binary-neutron star systems and less than 3,600 Gpc$^{-3}$yr$^{-1}$ for neutron-star--black-hole systems. We find that if no detection of neutron-star binary mergers is made in the next two Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo observing runs we would place significant constraints on the merger rates. Finally, assuming a rate of $10^{+20}_{-7}$Gpc$^{-3}$yr$^{-1}$ short gamma ray bursts beamed towards the Earth and assuming that all short gamma-ray bursts have binary-neutron-star (neutron-star--black-hole) progenitors we can use our 90% confidence rate upper limits to constrain the beaming angle of the gamma-ray burst to be greater than ${2.3^{+1.7}_{-1.1}}^{\circ}$ (${4.3^{+3.1}_{-1.9}}^{\circ}$).
- Jul 11 2016 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1607.02216v1We describe a directed search for continuous gravitational waves in data from the sixth LIGO science run. The target was the nearby globular cluster NGC 6544 at a distance of 2.7 kpc. The search covered a broad band of frequencies along with first and second frequency derivatives for a fixed sky position. The search coherently integrated data from the two LIGO interferometers over a time span of 9.2 days using the matched-filtering F-statistic. We found no gravitational-wave signals and set 95% confidence upper limits as stringent as 6.0 X 10^-25 on intrinsic strain and 8.5 X 10^-6 on fiducial ellipticity. These values beat the indirect limits from energy conservation for stars with characteristic spindown ages older than 300 years and are within the range of theoretical predictions for possible neutron-star ellipticities. An important feature of this search was use of a barycentric resampling algorithm which substantially reduced computational cost; this method will be used extensively in searches of Advanced LIGO and Virgo detector data.
- Jun 16 2016 gr-qc astro-ph.CO arXiv:1606.04856v3The first observational run of the Advanced LIGO detectors, from September 12, 2015 to January 19, 2016, saw the first detections of gravitational waves from binary black hole mergers. In this paper we present full results from a search for binary black hole merger signals with total masses up to $100 M_\odot$ and detailed implications from our observations of these systems. Our search, based on general-relativistic models of gravitational wave signals from binary black hole systems, unambiguously identified two signals, GW150914 and GW151226, with a significance of greater than $5\sigma$ over the observing period. It also identified a third possible signal, LVT151012, with substantially lower significance, and with an 87% probability of being of astrophysical origin. We provide detailed estimates of the parameters of the observed systems. Both GW150914 and GW151226 provide an unprecedented opportunity to study the two-body motion of a compact-object binary in the large velocity, highly nonlinear regime. We do not observe any deviations from general relativity, and place improved empirical bounds on several high-order post-Newtonian coefficients. From our observations we infer stellar-mass binary black hole merger rates lying in the range $9-240 \mathrm{Gpc}^{-3} \mathrm{yr}^{-1}$. These observations are beginning to inform astrophysical predictions of binary black hole formation rates, and indicate that future observing runs of the Advanced detector network will yield many more gravitational wave detections.
- Jun 13 2016 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1606.03117v2Binary systems of two compact objects circularize and spiral toward each other via the emission of gravitational waves. The coupling of the spins of each object with the orbital angular momentum causes the orbital plane to precess, which leads to modulation of the gravitational wave signal. Until now, generating frequency-domain waveforms for fully precessing systems for use in gravitational wave data analysis meant numerically integrating the equations of motion, then Fourier transforming the result, which is very computationally intensive for systems that complete hundreds or thousands of cycles in the sensitive band of a detector. Previously, analytic solutions were only available for certain special cases or for simplified models. Here we describe the construction of closed-form, frequency-domain waveforms for fully-precessing, quasi-circular binary inspirals.
- We compare GW150914 directly to simulations of coalescing binary black holes in full general relativity, accounting for all the spin-weighted quadrupolar modes, and separately accounting for all the quadrupolar and octopolar modes. Consistent with the posterior distributions reported in LVC_PE[1] (at 90% confidence), we find the data are compatible with a wide range of nonprecessing and precessing simulations. Followup simulations performed using previously-estimated binary parameters most resemble the data. Comparisons including only the quadrupolar modes constrain the total redshifted mass Mz ∈[64 - 82M_⊙], mass ratio q = m2/m1 ∈[0.6,1], and effective aligned spin \chi_eff ∈[-0.3, 0.2], where \chi_eff = (S1/m1 + S2/m2) ⋅\hatL /M. Including both quadrupolar and octopolar modes, we find the mass ratio is even more tightly constrained. Simulations with extreme mass ratios and effective spins are highly inconsistent with the data, at any mass. Several nonprecessing and precessing simulations with similar mass ratio and \chi_eff are consistent with the data. Though correlated, the components' spins (both in magnitude and directions) are not significantly constrained by the data. For nonprecessing binaries, interpolating between simulations, we reconstruct a posterior distribution consistent with previous results. The final black hole's redshifted mass is consistent with Mf,z between 64.0 - 73.5M_⊙and the final black hole's dimensionless spin parameter is consistent with af = 0.62 - 0.73. As our approach invokes no intermediate approximations to general relativity and can strongly reject binaries whose radiation is inconsistent with the data, our analysis provides a valuable complement to LVC_PE[1].
- Jun 06 2016 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1606.00953v1The first detection of gravitational waves by LIGO from the merger of two compact objects has sparked new interest in detecting electromagnetic counterparts to these violent events. For mergers involving neutron stars, it is thought that prompt high-energy emission in gamma rays and x-rays will be followed days to weeks later by an afterglow in visible light, infrared and radio. Rapid sky localization using the data from a network of gravitational wave detectors is essential to maximize the chances of making a joint detection. Here I describe a new technique that is able to produce accurate, fully Bayesian sky maps in seconds or less. The technique can be applied to spin-precessing compact binaries, and can take into account detector calibration and spectral estimation uncertainties.
- Jun 06 2016 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1606.01210v1This paper presents updated estimates of source parameters for GW150914, a binary black-hole coalescence event detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) on September 14, 2015 [1]. Reference presented parameter estimation [2] of the source using a 13-dimensional, phenomenological precessing-spin model (precessing IMRPhenom) and a 11-dimensional nonprecessing effective-one-body (EOB) model calibrated to numerical-relativity simulations, which forces spin alignment (nonprecessing EOBNR). Here we present new results that include a 15-dimensional precessing-spin waveform model (precessing EOBNR) developed within the EOB formalism. We find good agreement with the parameters estimated previously [2], and we quote updated component masses of $35^{+5}_{-3}\mathrm{M}_\odot$ and $30^{+3}_{-4}\mathrm{M}_\odot$ (where errors correspond to 90% symmetric credible intervals). We also present slightly tighter constraints on the dimensionless spin magnitudes of the two black holes, with a primary spin estimate $0.65$ and a secondary spin estimate $0.75$ at 90% probability. Reference [2] estimated the systematic parameter-extraction errors due to waveform-model uncertainty by combining the posterior probability densities of precessing IMRPhenom and nonprecessing EOBNR. Here we find that the two precessing-spin models are in closer agreement, suggesting that these systematic errors are smaller than previously quoted.
- May 12 2016 gr-qc astro-ph.IM arXiv:1605.03233v2We report on a comprehensive all-sky search for periodic gravitational waves in the frequency band 100-1500 Hz and with a frequency time derivative in the range of $[-1.18, +1.00]\times 10^{-8}$ Hz/s. Such a signal could be produced by a nearby spinning and slightly non-axisymmetric isolated neutron star in our galaxy. This search uses the data from the Initial LIGO sixth science run and covers a larger parameter space with respect to any past search. A Loosely Coherent detection pipeline was applied to follow up weak outliers in both Gaussian (95% recovery rate) and non-Gaussian (75% recovery rate) bands. No gravitational wave signals were observed, and upper limits were placed on their strength. Our smallest upper limit on worst-case (linearly polarized) strain amplitude $h_0$ is ${9.7}\times 10^{-25}$ near 169 Hz, while at the high end of our frequency range we achieve a worst-case upper limit of ${5.5}\times 10^{-24}$. Both cases refer to all sky locations and entire range of frequency derivative values.
- May 09 2016 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1605.01785v2We present results from a search for gravitational-wave bursts coincident with a set of two core-collapse supernovae observed between 2007 and 2011. We employ data from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), the Virgo gravitational-wave observatory, and the GEO 600 gravitational-wave observatory. The targeted core-collapse supernovae were selected on the basis of (1) proximity (within approximately 15 Mpc), (2) tightness of observational constraints on the time of core collapse that defines the gravitational-wave search window, and (3) coincident operation of at least two interferometers at the time of core collapse. We find no plausible gravitational-wave candidates. We present the probability of detecting signals from both astrophysically well-motivated and more speculative gravitational-wave emission mechanisms as a function of distance from Earth, and discuss the implications for the detection of gravitational waves from core-collapse supernovae by the upgraded Advanced LIGO and Virgo detectors.
- Apr 28 2016 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1604.07864v3This Supplement provides supporting material for arXiv:1602.08492 . We briefly summarize past electromagnetic (EM) follow-up efforts as well as the organization and policy of the current EM follow-up program. We compare the four probability sky maps produced for the gravitational-wave transient GW150914, and provide additional details of the EM follow-up observations that were performed in the different bands.
- Mar 01 2016 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1602.08492v4A gravitational-wave (GW) transient was identified in data recorded by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors on 2015 September 14. The event, initially designated G184098 and later given the name GW150914, is described in detail elsewhere. By prior arrangement, preliminary estimates of the time, significance, and sky location of the event were shared with 63 teams of observers covering radio, optical, near-infrared, X-ray, and gamma-ray wavelengths with ground- and space-based facilities. In this Letter we describe the low-latency analysis of the GW data and present the sky localization of the first observed compact binary merger. We summarize the follow-up observations reported by 25 teams via private Gamma-ray Coordinates Network circulars, giving an overview of the participating facilities, the GW sky localization coverage, the timeline and depth of the observations. As this event turned out to be a binary black hole merger, there is little expectation of a detectable electromagnetic (EM) signature. Nevertheless, this first broadband campaign to search for a counterpart of an Advanced LIGO source represents a milestone and highlights the broad capabilities of the transient astronomy community and the observing strategies that have been developed to pursue neutron star binary merger events. Detailed investigations of the EM data and results of the EM follow-up campaign are being disseminated in papers by the individual teams.
- In Advanced LIGO, detection and astrophysical source parameter estimation of the binary black hole merger GW150914 requires a calibrated estimate of the gravitational-wave strain sensed by the detectors. Producing an estimate from each detector's differential arm length control loop readout signals requires applying time domain filters, which are designed from a frequency domain model of the detector's gravitational-wave response. The gravitational-wave response model is determined by the detector's opto-mechanical response and the properties of its feedback control system. The measurements used to validate the model and characterize its uncertainty are derived primarily from a dedicated photon radiation pressure actuator, with cross-checks provided by optical and radio frequency references. We describe how the gravitational-wave readout signal is calibrated into equivalent gravitational-wave-induced strain and how the statistical uncertainties and systematic errors are assessed. Detector data collected over 38 calendar days, from September 12 to October 20, 2015, contain the event GW150914 and approximately 16 of coincident data used to estimate the event false alarm probability. The calibration uncertainty is less than 10% in magnitude and 10 degrees in phase across the relevant frequency band 20 Hz to 1 kHz.
- Feb 12 2016 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1602.03840v2On September 14, 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detected a gravitational-wave transient (GW150914); we characterize the properties of the source and its parameters. The data around the time of the event were analyzed coherently across the LIGO network using a suite of accurate waveform models that describe gravitational waves from a compact binary system in general relativity. GW150914 was produced by a nearly equal mass binary black hole of $36^{+5}_{-4} M_\odot$ and $29^{+4}_{-4} M_\odot$; for each parameter we report the median value and the range of the 90% credible interval. The dimensionless spin magnitude of the more massive black hole is bound to be $<0.7$ (at 90% probability). The luminosity distance to the source is $410^{+160}_{-180}$ Mpc, corresponding to a redshift $0.09^{+0.03}_{-0.04}$ assuming standard cosmology. The source location is constrained to an annulus section of $610$ deg$^2$, primarily in the southern hemisphere. The binary merges into a black hole of $62^{+4}_{-4} M_\odot$ and spin $0.67^{+0.05}_{-0.07}$. This black hole is significantly more massive than any other inferred from electromagnetic observations in the stellar-mass regime.
- On September 14, 2015 at 09:50:45 UTC the two detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) simultaneously observed the binary black hole merger GW150914. We report the results of a matched-filter search using relativistic models of compact-object binaries that recovered GW150914 as the most significant event during the coincident observations between the two LIGO detectors from September 12 to October 20, 2015. GW150914 was observed with a matched filter signal-to-noise ratio of 24 and a false alarm rate estimated to be less than 1 event per 203 000 years, equivalent to a significance greater than 5.1 \sigma.
- Feb 12 2016 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1602.03842v3A transient gravitational-wave signal, GW150914, was identified in the twin Advanced LIGO detectors on September 14, 2015 at 09:50:45 UTC. To assess the implications of this discovery, the detectors remained in operation with unchanged configurations over a period of 39 d around the time of the signal. At the detection statistic threshold corresponding to that observed for GW150914, our search of the 16 days of simultaneous two-detector observational data is estimated to have a false alarm rate (FAR) of $< 4.9 \times 10^{-6} \, \mathrm{yr}^{-1}$, yielding a $p$-value for GW150914 of $< 2 \times 10^{-7}$. Parameter estimation followup on this trigger identifies its source as a binary black hole (BBH) merger with component masses $(m_1, m_2) = \left(36^{+5}_{-4},29^{+4}_{-4}\right) \, M_\odot$ at redshift $z = 0.09^{+0.03}_{-0.04}$ (median and 90\% credible range). Here we report on the constraints these observations place on the rate of BBH coalescences. Considering only GW150914, assuming that all BBHs in the Universe have the same masses and spins as this event, imposing a search FAR threshold of 1 per 100 years, and assuming that the BBH merger rate is constant in the comoving frame, we infer a 90% credible range of merger rates between $2$--$53 \, \mathrm{Gpc}^{-3} \mathrm{yr}^{-1}$ (comoving frame). Incorporating all search triggers that pass a much lower threshold while accounting for the uncertainty in the astrophysical origin of each trigger, we estimate a higher rate, ranging from $13$--$600 \, \mathrm{Gpc}^{-3} \mathrm{yr}^{-1}$ depending on assumptions about the BBH mass distribution. All together, our various rate estimates fall in the conservative range $2$--$600 \, \mathrm{Gpc}^{-3} \mathrm{yr}^{-1}$.
- Dec 22 2015 gr-qc astro-ph.IM arXiv:1512.06829v1Precision timing of highly stable milli-second pulsars is a promising technique for the detection of very low frequency sources of gravitational waves. In any single pulsar, a stochastic gravitational wave signal appears as an additional source of timing noise that can be absorbed by the noise model, and so it is only by considering the coherent response across a network of pulsars that the signal can be distinguished from other sources of noise. In the limit where there are many gravitational wave sources in the sky, or many pulsars in the array, the signals produce a unique tensor correlation pattern that depends only on the angular separation between each pulsar pair. It is this distinct fingerprint that is used to search for gravitational waves using pulsar timing arrays. Here we consider how the prospects for detection are diminished when the statistical isotropy of the timing array or the gravitational wave signal is broken by having a finite number of pulsars and a finite number of sources. We find the standard tensor-correlation analysis to be remarkably robust, with a mild impact on detectability compared to the isotropic limit. Only when there are very few sources and very few pulsars does the standard analysis begin to fail. Having established that the tensor correlations are a robust signature for detection, we study the use of "sky-scrambles" to break the correlations as a way to increase confidence in a detection. This approach is analogous to the use of "time-slides" in the analysis of data from ground based interferometric detectors.
- Nov 30 2015 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1511.08752v1With the advanced LIGO and Virgo detectors taking observations the detection of gravitational waves is expected within the next few years. Extracting astrophysical information from gravitational wave detections is a well-posed problem and thoroughly studied when detailed models for the waveforms are available. However, one motivation for the field of gravitational wave astronomy is the potential for new discoveries. Recognizing and characterizing unanticipated signals requires data analysis techniques which do not depend on theoretical predictions for the gravitational waveform. Past searches for short-duration un-modeled gravitational wave signals have been hampered by transient noise artifacts, or "glitches," in the detectors. In some cases, even high signal-to-noise simulated astrophysical signals have proven difficult to distinguish from glitches, so that essentially any plausible signal could be detected with at most 2-3 $\sigma$ level confidence. We have put forth the BayesWave algorithm to differentiate between generic gravitational wave transients and glitches, and to provide robust waveform reconstruction and characterization of the astrophysical signals. Here we study BayesWave's capabilities for rejecting glitches while assigning high confidence to detection candidates through analytic approximations to the Bayesian evidence. Analytic results are tested with numerical experiments by adding simulated gravitational wave transient signals to LIGO data collected between 2009 and 2010 and found to be in good agreement.
- We present the results of a search for long-duration gravitational wave transients in two sets of data collected by the LIGO Hanford and LIGO Livingston detectors between November 5, 2005 and September 30, 2007, and July 7, 2009 and October 20, 2010, with a total observational time of 283.0 days and 132.9 days, respectively. The search targets gravitational wave transients of duration 10 - 500 s in a frequency band of 40 - 1000 Hz, with minimal assumptions about the signal waveform, polarization, source direction, or time of occurrence. All candidate triggers were consistent with the expected background; as a result we set 90% confidence upper limits on the rate of long-duration gravitational wave transients for different types of gravitational wave signals. For signals from black hole accretion disk instabilities, we set upper limits on the source rate density between $3.4 \times 10^{-5}$ - $9.4 \times 10^{-4}$ Mpc$^{-3}$ yr$^{-1}$ at 90% confidence. These are the first results from an all-sky search for unmodeled long-duration transient gravitational waves.
- 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.
- Aug 11 2015 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1508.02062v2Gravitational waves from neutron star binary inspirals contain information about the equation of state of supranuclear matter. In the absence of definitive experimental evidence that determines the correct equation of state, a number of diverse models that give the pressure in a neutron star as function of its density have been proposed. These models differ not only in the approximations and techniques they use to solve the many-body Schrödinger equation, but also in the neutron star composition they assume. We study whether gravitational wave observations of neutron star binaries in quasicircular inspirals will allow us to distinguish between equations of state of differing internal composition, thereby providing important information about the properties of extremely high density matter. We carry out a Bayesian model selection analysis, and find that second generation gravitational wave detectors can heavily constrain equations of state that contain only quark matter, but hybrid stars containing both normal and quark matter are harder to distinguish from normal matter stars. A gravitational wave detection with a signal-to-noise ratio of 30 and masses around $1.4M_{\odot}$ could either detect or rule out strange quark stars with a 20 to 1 confidence. The presence of kaon condensates or hyperons in neutron star inner cores cannot be easily confirmed. For example, for the equations of state studied in this paper, even a gravitational wave signal with a signal-to-noise ratio as high as 60 would not allow us to claim a detection of kaon condensates or hyperons with confidence greater than 5 to 1. On the other hand, if kaon condensates and hyperons do not form in neutron stars, a gravitational wave signal with similar signal-to-noise ratio would be able to constrain their existence with an 11 to 1 confidence for high-mass systems.
- We discuss the detection of gravitational-wave backgrounds in the context of Bayesian inference and suggest a practical definition of what it means for a signal to be considered stochastic---namely, that the Bayesian evidence favors a stochastic signal model over a deterministic signal model. A signal can further be classified as Gaussian-stochastic if a Gaussian signal model is favored. In our analysis we use Bayesian model selection to choose between several signal and noise models for simulated data consisting of uncorrelated Gaussian detector noise plus a superposition of sinusoidal signals from an astrophysical population of gravitational-wave sources. For simplicity, we consider co-located and co-aligned detectors with white detector noise, but the method can be extended to more realistic detector configurations and power spectra. The general trend we observe is that a deterministic model is favored for small source numbers, a non-Gaussian stochastic model is preferred for intermediate source numbers, and a Gaussian stochastic model is preferred for large source numbers. However, there is very large variation between individual signal realizations, leading to fuzzy boundaries between the three regimes. We find that a hybrid, trans-dimensional model comprised of a deterministic signal model for individual bright sources and a Gaussian-stochastic signal model for the remaining confusion background outperforms all other models in most instances.
- May 28 2015 gr-qc arXiv:1505.07179v1We extend the formalisms developed in Gair et al. and Cornish and van Haasteren to create maps of gravitational-wave backgrounds using a network of ground-based laser interferometers. We show that in contrast to pulsar timing arrays, which are insensitive to half of the gravitational-wave sky (the curl modes), a network of ground-based interferometers is sensitive to both the gradient and curl components of the background. The spatial separation of a network of interferometers, or of a single interferometer at different times during its rotational and orbital motion around the Sun, allows for recovery of both components. We derive expressions for the response functions of a laser interferometer in the small-antenna limit, and use these expressions to calculate the overlap reduction function for a pair of interferometers. We also construct maximum-likelihood estimates of the + and x-polarization modes of the gravitational-wave sky in terms of the response matrix for a network of ground-based interferometers, evaluated at discrete times during Earth's rotational and orbital motion around the Sun. We demonstrate the feasibility of this approach for some simple simulated backgrounds (a single point source and spatially-extended distributions having only grad or curl components), calculating maximum-likelihood sky maps and uncertainty maps based on the (pseudo)inverse of the response matrix. The distinction between this approach and standard methods for mapping gravitational-wave power is also discussed.
- Mar 11 2015 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1503.02662v1The detection of a stochastic gravitational-wave signal from the superposition of many inspiraling supermassive black holes with pulsar timing arrays (PTAs) is likely to occur within the next decade. With this detection will come the opportunity to learn about the processes that drive black-hole-binary systems toward merger through their effects on the gravitational-wave spectrum. We use Bayesian methods to investigate the extent to which effects other than gravitational-wave emission can be distinguished using PTA observations. We show that, even in the absence of a detection, it is possible to place interesting constraints on these dynamical effects for conservative predictions of the population of tightly bound supermassive black-hole binaries. For instance, if we assume a relatively weak signal consistent with a low number of bound binaries and a low black-hole-mass to galaxy-mass correlation, we still find that a non-detection by a simulated array, with a sensitivity that should be reached in practice within a few years, disfavors gravitational-wave-dominated evolution with an odds ratio of $\sim$30:1. Such a finding would suggest either that all existing astrophysical models for the population of tightly bound binaries are overly optimistic, or else that some dynamical effect other than gravitational-wave emission is actually dominating binary evolution even at the relatively high frequencies/small orbital separations probed by PTAs.
- Feb 23 2015 gr-qc astro-ph.CO arXiv:1502.05735v1Massive black hole binaries are the primary source of gravitational waves (GW) for the future eLISA observatory. The detection and parameter estimation of these sources to high redshift would provide invaluable information on the formation mechanisms of seed black holes, and on the evolution of massive black holes and their host galaxies through cosmic time. The Fisher information matrix has been the standard tool for GW parameter estimation in the last two decades. However, recent studies have questioned the validity of using the Fisher matrix approach. For example, the Fisher matrix approach sometimes predicts errors of $\geq100\%$ in the estimation of parameters such as the luminosity distance and sky position. With advances in computing power, Bayesian inference is beginning to replace the Fisher matrix approximation in parameter estimation studies. In this work, we conduct a Bayesian inference analysis for 120 sources situated at redshifts of between $0.1\leq z\leq 13.2$, and compare the results with those from a Fisher matrix analysis. The Fisher matrix results suggest that for this particular selection of sources, eLISA would be unable to localize sources at redshifts of $z\lesssim6$. In contrast, Bayesian inference provides finite error estimations for all sources in the study, and shows that we can establish minimum closest distances for all sources. The study further predicts that we should be capable with eLISA, out to a redshift of at least $z\leq13$, of predicting a maximum error in the chirp mass of $\lesssim 1\%$, the reduced mass of $\lesssim20\%$, the time to coalescence of 2 hours, and to a redshift of $z\sim5$, the inclination of the source with a maximum error of $\sim60$ degrees.
- Among efforts to detect gravitational radiation, pulsar timing arrays are uniquely poised to detect "memory" signatures, permanent perturbations in spacetime from highly energetic astrophysical events such as mergers of supermassive black hole binaries. The North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) observes dozens of the most stable millisecond pulsars using the Arecibo and Green Bank radio telescopes in an effort to study, among other things, gravitational wave memory. We herein present the results of a search for gravitational wave bursts with memory (BWMs) using the first five years of NANOGrav observations. We develop original methods for dramatically speeding up searches for BWM signals. In the directions of the sky where our sensitivity to BWMs is best, we would detect mergers of binaries with reduced masses of $10^9$ $M_\odot$ out to distances of 30 Mpc; such massive mergers in the Virgo cluster would be marginally detectable. We find no evidence for BWMs. However, with our non-detection, we set upper limits on the rate at which BWMs of various amplitudes could have occurred during the time spanned by our data--e.g., BWMs with amplitudes greater than $10^{-13}$ must occur at a rate less than 1.5 yr$^{-1}$.
- Dec 22 2014 gr-qc arXiv:1412.6479v1Searches for gravitational waves produced by coalescing black hole binaries with total masses $\gtrsim25\,$M$_\odot$ use matched filtering with templates of short duration. Non-Gaussian noise bursts in gravitational wave detector data can mimic short signals and limit the sensitivity of these searches. Previous searches have relied on empirically designed statistics incorporating signal-to-noise ratio and signal-based vetoes to separate gravitational wave candidates from noise candidates. We report on sensitivity improvements achieved using a multivariate candidate ranking statistic derived from a supervised machine learning algorithm. We apply the random forest of bagged decision trees technique to two separate searches in the high mass $\left( \gtrsim25\,\mathrm{M}_\odot \right)$ parameter space. For a search which is sensitive to gravitational waves from the inspiral, merger, and ringdown (IMR) of binary black holes with total mass between $25\,$M$_\odot$ and $100\,$M$_\odot$, we find sensitive volume improvements as high as $70_{\pm 13}-109_{\pm 11}$\% when compared to the previously used ranking statistic. For a ringdown-only search which is sensitive to gravitational waves from the resultant perturbed intermediate mass black hole with mass roughly between $10\,$M$_\odot$ and $600\,$M$_\odot$, we find sensitive volume improvements as high as $61_{\pm 4}-241_{\pm 12}$\% when compared to the previously used ranking statistic. We also report how sensitivity improvements can differ depending on mass regime, mass ratio, and available data quality information. Finally, we describe the techniques used to tune and train the random forest classifier that can be generalized to its use in other searches for gravitational waves.
- Dec 02 2014 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1412.0605v1We present results of a search for continuously-emitted gravitational radiation, directed at the brightest low-mass X-ray binary, Scorpius X-1. Our semi-coherent analysis covers 10 days of LIGO S5 data ranging from 50-550 Hz, and performs an incoherent sum of coherent $\mathcal{F}$-statistic power distributed amongst frequency-modulated orbital sidebands. All candidates not removed at the veto stage were found to be consistent with noise at a 1% false alarm rate. We present Bayesian 95% confidence upper limits on gravitational-wave strain amplitude using two different prior distributions: a standard one, with no a priori assumptions about the orientation of Scorpius X-1; and an angle-restricted one, using a prior derived from electromagnetic observations. Median strain upper limits of 1.3e-24 and 8e-25 are reported at 150 Hz for the standard and angle-restricted searches respectively. This proof of principle analysis was limited to a short observation time by unknown effects of accretion on the intrinsic spin frequency of the neutron star, but improves upon previous upper limits by factors of ~1.4 for the standard, and 2.3 for the angle-restricted search at the sensitive region of the detector.
- In this paper we present the results of a coherent narrow-band search for continuous gravitational-wave signals from the Crab and Vela pulsars conducted on Virgo VSR4 data. In order to take into account a possible small mismatch between the gravitational wave frequency and two times the star rotation frequency, inferred from measurement of the electromagnetic pulse rate, a range of 0.02 Hz around two times the star rotational frequency has been searched for both the pulsars. No evidence for a signal has been found and 95$\%$ confidence level upper limits have been computed both assuming polarization parameters are completely unknown and that they are known with some uncertainty, as derived from X-ray observations of the pulsar wind torii. For Vela the upper limits are comparable to the spin-down limit, computed assuming that all the observed spin-down is due to the emission of gravitational waves. For Crab the upper limits are about a factor of two below the spin-down limit, and represent a significant improvement with respect to past analysis. This is the first time the spin-down limit is significantly overcome in a narrow-band search.
- 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.
- 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.
- Gravitational wave data from ground-based detectors is dominated by instrument noise. Signals will be comparatively weak, and our understanding of the noise will influence detection confidence and signal characterization. Mis-modeled noise can produce large systematic biases in both model selection and parameter estimation. Here we introduce a multi-component, variable dimension, parameterized model to describe the Gaussian-noise power spectrum for data from ground-based gravitational wave interferometers. Called BayesLine, the algorithm models the noise power spectral density using cubic splines for smoothly varying broad-band noise and Lorentzians for narrow-band line features in the spectrum. We describe the algorithm and demonstrate its performance on data from the fifth and sixth LIGO science runs. Once fully integrated into LIGO/Virgo data analysis software, BayesLine will produce accurate spectral estimation and provide a means for marginalizing inferences drawn from the data over all plausible noise spectra.
- A central challenge in Gravitational Wave Astronomy is identifying weak signals in the presence of non-stationary and non-Gaussian noise. The separation of gravitational wave signals from noise requires good models for both. When accurate signal models are available, such as for binary Neutron star systems, it is possible to make robust detection statements even when the noise is poorly understood. In contrast, searches for "un-modeled" transient signals are strongly impacted by the methods used to characterize the noise. Here we take a Bayesian approach and introduce a multi-component, variable dimension, parameterized noise model that explicitly accounts for non-stationarity and non-Gaussianity in data from interferometric gravitational wave detectors. Instrumental transients (glitches) and burst sources of gravitational waves are modeled using a Morlet-Gabor continuous wavelet frame. The number and placement of the wavelets is determined by a trans-dimensional Reversible Jump Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithm. The Gaussian component of the noise and sharp line features in the noise spectrum are modeled using the BayesLine algorithm, which operates in concert with the wavelet model.
- Aug 25 2014 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1408.5158v2The detection and characterization of gravitational wave signals from compact binary coalescence events relies on accurate waveform templates in the frequency domain. The stationary phase approximation (SPA) can be used to compute closed-form frequency-domain waveforms for non-precessing, quasi-circular binary inspirals. However, until now, no fast frequency-domain waveforms have existed for generic, spin-precessing quasi-circular compact binary inspirals. Templates for these systems have had to be computed via a discrete Fourier transform of finely sampled time-domain waveforms, which is far more computationally expensive than those constructed directly in the frequency-domain, especially for those systems that are dominated by the inspiral part. There are two obstacles to deriving frequency-domain waveforms for precessing systems: (i) the spin-precession equations do not admit closed-form solutions for generic systems; (ii) the SPA fails catastrophically. Presently there is no general solution to the first problem, so we must resort to numerical integration of the spin precession equations. This is not a significant obstacle, as numerical integration on the slow precession timescale adds very little to the computational cost of generating the waveforms. Our main result is to solve the second problem, by providing an alternative to the SPA that we call the method of Shifted Uniform Asymptotics, or SUA, that cures the divergences in the SPA. The construction of frequency-domain templates using the SUA can be orders of magnitude more efficient than the time-domain ones obtained through a discrete Fourier transform. Moreover, this method is very faithful to the discrete Fourier transform, with mismatches on the order of $10^{-5}$.
- Jul 29 2014 gr-qc arXiv:1407.7038v2Certain scalar-tensor theories have the property of endowing stars with scalar hair, sourced either by the star's own compactness (spontaneous scalarization) or, for binary systems, by the companion's scalar hair (induced scalarization) or by the orbital binding energy (dynamical scalarization). Scalarized stars in binaries present different conservative dynamics than in General Relativity, and can also excite a scalar mode in the metric perturbation that carries away dipolar radiation. As a result, the binary orbit shrinks faster than predicted in General Relativity, modifying the rate of decay of the orbital period. In spite of this, scalar-tensor theories can pass existing binary pulsar tests, because observed pulsars may not be compact enough or sufficiently orbitally bound to activate scalarization. Gravitational waves emitted during the last stages of compact binary inspirals are thus ideal probes of scalarization effects. For the standard projected sensitivity of advanced LIGO, we here show that, if neutron stars are sufficiently compact to enter the detector's sensitivity band already scalarized, then gravitational waves could place constraints at least comparable to binary pulsars. If the stars dynamically scalarize while inspiraling in band, then constraints are still possible provided the scalarization occurs sufficiently early in the inspiral, roughly below an orbital frequency of 50Hz. In performing these studies, we derive an easy-to-calculate data analysis measure, an integrated phase difference between a General Relativistic and a modified signal, that maps directly to the Bayes factor so as to determine whether a modified gravity effect is detectable. Finally, we find that custom-made templates are equally effective as model-independent, parameterized post-Einsteinian waveforms at detecting such modified gravity effects at realistic signal-to-noise ratios.
- Jun 19 2014 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1406.4511v2We describe a new method for extracting gravitational wave signals from pulsar timing data. We show that any gravitational wave signal can be decomposed into an orthogonal set of sky maps, with the number of maps equal to the number of pulsars in the timing array. These maps may be used as a basis to construct gravitational wave templates for any type of source, including collections of point sources. A variant of the standard Hellings-Downs correlation analysis is recovered for statistically isotropic signals. The template based approach allows us to probe potential anisotropies in the signal and produce maps of the gravitational wave sky.
- 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 14 2014 gr-qc arXiv:1404.3180v2We study the performance of various analytical frequency-domain templates for detection and parameter estimation of gravitational waves from spin-precessing, quasi-circular, compact binary inspirals. We begin by assessing the extent to which non-spinning, spin-aligned, and the new (analytical, frequency-domain, small-spin) double-precessing frequency-domain templates can be used to detect signals from such systems. For effective, dimensionless spin values above $0.2$, the use of non-spinning or spin-aligned templates for detection purposes will result in a loss of up to $30%$ of all events, while in the case of the double-precessing model, this never exceeds $6%$. Moreover, even for signals from systems with small spins, non-spinning and spin-aligned templates introduce large biases in the extracted masses and spins. The use of a model that encodes spin-induced precession effects, such as the double-precessing model, improves the mass and spin extraction by up to an order of magnitude. The additional information encoded in the spin-orbit interaction is invaluable if one wishes to extract the maximum amount of information from gravitational wave signals.