results for au:Laurentis_M in:gr-qc

- Our Galactic Center, Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), is believed to harbour a supermassive black hole (BH), as suggested by observations tracking individual orbiting stars. Upcoming sub-millimetre very-long-baseline-interferometry (VLBI) images of Sgr A* carried out by the Event-Horizon-Telescope Collaboration (EHTC) are expected to provide critical evidence for the existence of this supermassive BH. We assess our present ability to use EHTC images to determine if they correspond to a Kerr BH as predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity (GR) or to a BH in alternative theories of gravity. To this end, we perform general-relativistic magnetohydrodynamical (GRMHD) simulations and use general-relativistic radiative transfer (GRRT) calculations to generate synthetic shadow images of a magnetised accretion flow onto a Kerr BH. In addition, and for the first time, we perform GRMHD simulations and GRRT calculations for a dilaton BH, which we take as a representative solution of an alternative theory of gravity. Adopting the VLBI configuration from the 2017 EHTC campaign, we find that it could be extremely difficult to distinguish between BHs from different theories of gravity, thus highlighting that great caution is needed when interpreting BH images as tests of GR.
- We analyze a fully geometric approach to dark energy in the framework of $F(R,{\cal G})$ theories of gravity, where $R$ is the Ricci curvature scalar and ${\cal G}$ is the Gauss-Bonnet topological invariant. The latter invariant naturally exhausts, together with $R$, the whole curvature content related to curvature invariants coming from the Riemann tensor. In particular, we study a class of $F(R, {\cal G})$ models with power law solutions and find that, depending on the value of the geometrical parameter, a shift in the anisotropy peaks position of the temperature power spectrum is produced, as well as an increasing in the matter power spectrum amplitude. This fact could be extremely relevant to fix the form of the $F(R, {\cal G})$ model. We also perform a MCMC analysis using both Cosmic Microwave Background data by the Planck (2015) release and the Joint Light-Curve Analysis of the SNLS-SDSS collaborative effort, combined with the current local measurements of the Hubble value, $H_0$, and galaxy data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (BOSS CMASS DR11). We show that such a model can describe the CMB data with slightly high $H_0$ values, and the prediction on the amplitude matter spectrum value is proved to be in accordance with the observed matter distribution of the universe. At the same time, the value constrained for the geometric parameter implies a density evolution of such a components that is growing with time.
- 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 27 2018 gr-qc arXiv:1802.09073v1The Noether Symmetry Approach can be used to construct spherically symmetric solutions in $f({\cal R})$ gravity. Specifically, the Noether conserved quantity is related to the gravitational mass and a gravitational radius that reduces to the Schwarzschild radius in the limit $f({\cal R})\rightarrow {\cal R}$. We show that it is possible to construct the $M-R$ relation for neutron stars depending on the Noether conserved quantity and the associated gravitational radius. This approach enables the recovery of extreme massive stars that could not be stable in the standard Tolman-Oppenheimer-Volkoff based on General Relativity. Examples are given for some power law $f({\cal R})$ gravity models.
- 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.
- We use a dynamical system approach to study the cosmological viability of $f(R,\mathcal{G})$ gravity theories. The method consists of formulating the evolution equations as an autonomous system of ODEs, using suitable variables. The formalism is applied to a class of models in which $f(R,\mathcal{G})\propto R^{n}\mathcal{G}^{1-n}$ and its solutions and corresponding stability are analysed in detail. New accelerating solutions that can be attractors in the phase space are found. We also find that this class of models does not exhibit a matter-dominated epoch, a solution which is inconsistent with current cosmological observations.
- Analysis of the Yukawa gravitational potential in $f(R)$ gravity II: relativistic periastron advanceJan 26 2018 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1801.08136v2Alternative theories of gravity may serve to overcame several shortcomings of the standard cosmological model but, in their weak field limit, General Relativity must be recovered so as to match the tight constraints at the Solar System scale. Therefore, testing such alternative models at scales of stellar systems could give a unique opportunity to confirm or rule them out. One of the most straightforward modifications is represented by analytical $f(R)$-gravity models that introduce a Yukawa-like modification to the Newtonian potential thus modifying the dynamics of particles. Using the geodesics equations, we have illustrated the amplitude of these modifications. First, we have integrated numerically the equations of motion showing the orbital precession of a particle around a massive object. Second, we have computed an analytic expression for the periastron advance of systems having their semi-major axis much shorter than the Yukawa-scale length. Finally, we have extended our results to the case of a binary system composed of two massive objects. Our analysis provides a powerful tool to obtain constraints on the underlying theory of gravity using current and forthcoming datasets.
- Analysis of the Yukawa gravitational potential in $f(R)$ gravity I: semiclassical periastron advanceJan 26 2018 gr-qc arXiv:1801.08135v2The \it concordance cosmological model has been successfully tested throughout the last decades. Despite its successes, the fundamental nature of dark matter and dark energy is still unknown. Modifications of the gravitational action have been proposed as an alternative to these dark components. The straightforward modification of gravity is to generalize the action to a function, $f(R)$, of the scalar curvature. Thus one is able to describe the emergence and the evolution of the Large Scale Structure without any additional (unknown) dark component. In the weak field limit of the $f(R)$-gravity, a modified Newtonian gravitational potential arises. This gravitational potential accounts for an extra force, generally called fifth force, that produces a precession of the orbital motion even in the classic mechanical approach. We have shown that the orbits in the modified potential can be written as Keplerian orbits under some conditions on the strength and scale length of this extra force. Nevertheless, we have also shown that this extra term gives rise to the precession of the orbit. Thus, comparing our prediction with the measurements of the precession of some planetary motions, we have found that the strength of the fifth force must be in the range $[2.70-6.70]\times10^{-9}$ whit the characteristic scale length to fixed to the fiducial values of $\sim 5000$ AU.
- Dec 05 2017 gr-qc astro-ph.CO arXiv:1712.01168v2Cosmic 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.
- Dec 04 2017 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1712.00265v1To date, the most precise tests of general relativity have been achieved through pulsar timing, albeit in the weak-field regime. Since pulsars are some of the most precise and stable "clocks" in the Universe, present observational efforts are focused on detecting pulsars in the vicinity of supermassive black holes (most notably in our Galactic Centre), enabling pulsar timing to be used as an extremely precise probe of strong-field gravity. In this paper a mathematical framework to describe test-particle dynamics in general black hole spacetimes is presented, and subsequently used to study a binary system comprising a pulsar orbiting a black hole. In particular, taking into account the parameterization of a general spherically symmetric black hole metric, general analytic expressions for both the advance of the periastron and for the orbital period of a massive test particle are derived. Furthermore, these expressions are applied to four representative cases of solutions arising in both general relativity and in alternative theories of gravity. Finally, this framework is applied to the Galactic Centre $S$-stars and four distinct pulsar toy models. It is shown that by adopting a fully general-relativistic description of test-particle motion which is independent of any particular theory of gravity, observations of pulsars can help impose better constraints on alternative theories of gravity than is presently possible.
- 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.
- 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.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.
- 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.
- In its weak field limit, Scalar-tensor-vector gravity theory introduces a Yukawa-correction to the gravitational potential. Such a correction depends on the two parameters, $\alpha$ which accounts for the modification of the gravitational constant, and $\mu^{*-1}$ which represents the scale length on which the scalar field propagates. These parameters were found to be universal when the modified gravitational potential was used to fit the galaxy rotation curves and the mass profiles of galaxy clusters, both without Dark Matter. We test the universality of these parameters using the the temperature anisotropies due to the thermal Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect. In our model the intra-cluster gas is in hydrostatic equilibrium within the modified gravitational potential well and it is described by a polytropic equation of state. We predict the thermal Sunyaev-Zeldovich temperature anisotropies produced by Coma cluster, and we compare them with those obtained using the Planck 2013 Nominal maps. In our analysis, we find $\alpha$ and the scale length, respectively, to be consistent and to depart from their universal values. Our analysis points out that the assumption of the universality of the Yukawa-correction to the gravitational potential is ruled out at more than $3.5\sigma$ at galaxy clusters scale, while demonstrating that such a theory of gravity is capable to fit the cluster profile if the scale dependence of the gravitational potential is restored.
- 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.
- We discuss the production and evolution of cosmological gravitons showing how the cosmological background affects their dynamics. Besides, the detection of cosmological gravitons could constitute an extremely important signature to discriminate among different cosmological models. Here we consider the cases of scalar-tensor gravity and $f(R)$ gravity where it is demonstrated the amplification of graviton amplitude changes if compared with General Relativity. Possible observational constraints are discussed.
- The Hawking-Perry-Strominger (HPS) work [1] states a new controversial idea about the black hole (BH) information paradox [2-5] where BHs maximally entropize and encode information in their event horizon area [6,7], with no "hair" were thought to reveal information outside but angular momentum, mass and electric charge only [8,9] in a unique quantum gravity (QG) vacuum state. This new idea invokes new conservation laws involving gravitation and electromagnetism [10,11], to generate different QG vacua and preserve more information in hair implants. In the context of black holes and the HPS proposal we find that BH photon hair implants can be spatially shaped ad hoc and encode structured and densely organized information on the event horizon involving novel aspect in the discussion a particular aspect of EM fields, namely the spatial information of the field associated to its orbital angular momentum. BHs can have "curly", twisted, soft-hair implants with vorticity where structured information is holographically encoded in the event horizon in an organized way.
- Feb 15 2017 gr-qc arXiv:1702.04096v1The paradox of a free falling radiating charged particle in a gravitational field, is a well-known fascinating conceptual challenge that involves classical electrodynamics and general relativity. We discuss this paradox considering the emission of radiation as a consequence of an explicit space/time symmetry breaking involving the electric field within the trajectory of the particle seen from an external observer. This occurs in certain particular cases when the relative motion of the charged particle does not follow a geodesic of the motion dictated by the explicit Lagrangian formulation of the problem and thus from the metric of spacetime. The problem is equivalent to the breaking of symmetry within the spatial configuration of a radiating system like an antenna: when the current is not conserved at a certain instant of time within a closed region then emission of radiation occurs [1]. Radiation from a system of charges is possible only when there is explicit breaking of symmetry in the electric field in space and time.
- 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.
- 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 18 2016 gr-qc arXiv:1611.05766v1The recently reported gravitational wave events GW$150914$ and GW$151226$ caused by the mergers of binary black holes [arXiv:1602.03841],[arXiv:1606.04855],[arXiv:1606.04856] provide a formidable way to set constraints on alternative metric theories of gravity in the strong field regime. In this paper, we develop an approach where an arbitrary theory of gravity can be parametrised by an effective coupling $G_{eff}$ and an effective gravitational potential $\Phi(r)$. The standard Newtonian limit of General Relativity is recovered as soon as $G_{eff}\rightarrow G_N$ and $\Phi(r)\rightarrow \Phi_{N}$. The upper bound on the graviton mass and the gravitational interaction length, reported by the LIGO-VIRGO collaboration, can be directly recast in terms of the parameters of the theory which allows an analysis where the gravitational wave frequency modulation sets constraints on the range of possible alternative models of gravity. Numerical results based on published parameters for the binary black hole mergers are also reported. Comparison of the observed phase of the GW$150914$ and GW$151226$ with the modulated phase in alternative theories of gravity does not give reasonable constraints due the large uncertainties in the estimated parameters for the coalescing black holes. In addition to these general considerations, we obtain limits for the frequency dependence of the $\alpha$ parameter in scalar tensor theories of gravity.
- 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.
- A generalized teleparallel cosmological model, $f(T_\mathcal{G},T)$, containing the torsion scalar $T$ and the teleparallel counterpart of the Gauss-Bonnet topological invariant $T_{\mathcal{G}}$, is studied in the framework of the Noether Symmetry Approach. As $f(\mathcal{G}, R)$ gravity, where $\mathcal{G}$ is the Gauss-Bonnet topological invariant and $R$ is the Ricci curvature scalar, exhausts all the curvature information that one can construct from the Riemann tensor, in the same way, $f(T_\mathcal{G},T)$ contains all the possible information directly related to the torsion tensor. In this paper, we discuss how the Noether Symmetry Approach allows to fix the form of the function $f(T_\mathcal{G},T)$ and to derive exact cosmological solutions.
- Aug 08 2016 gr-qc arXiv:1608.01940v4The first direct gravitational-wave detection was made by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory on September 14, 2015. The GW150914 signal was strong enough to be apparent, without using any waveform model, in the filtered detector strain data. Here, features of the signal visible in the data are analyzed using concepts from Newtonian physics and general relativity, accessible to anyone with a general physics background. The simple analysis presented here is consistent with the fully general-relativistic analyses published elsewhere,in showing that the signal was produced by the inspiral and subsequent merger of two black holes. The black holes were each of approximately 35 Msun, still orbited each other as close as ~350 km apart, and subsequently merged to form a single black hole. Similar reasoning, directly from the data, is used to roughly estimate how far these black holes were from the Earth, and the energy that they radiated in gravitational waves.
- 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 30 2016 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1606.08879v2Einstein's General Theory of Relativity (GR) successfully describes gravity. The most fundamental predictions of GR are black holes (BHs), but in spite of many convincing BH candidates in the Universe, there is no conclusive experimental proof of their existence using astronomical observations in the electromagnetic spectrum. Are BHs real astrophysical objects? Does GR hold in its most extreme limit or are alternatives needed? The prime target to address these fundamental questions is in the center of our own Galaxy, which hosts the closest and best-constrained supermassive BH candidate in the Universe, Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*). Three different types of experiments hold the promise to test GR in a strong-field regime using observations of Sgr A* with new-generation instruments. The first experiment aims to image the relativistic plasma emission which surrounds the event horizon and forms a "shadow" cast against the background, whose predicted size (~50 microarcseconds) can now be resolved by upcoming VLBI experiments at mm-waves such as the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). The second experiment aims to monitor stars orbiting Sgr A* with the upcoming near-infrared interferometer GRAVITY at the Very Large Telescope (VLT). The third experiment aims to time a radio pulsar in tight orbit about Sgr A* using radio telescopes (including the Atacama Large Millimeter Array or ALMA). The BlackHoleCam project exploits the synergy between these three different techniques and aims to measure the main BH parameters with sufficient precision to provide fundamental tests of GR and probe the spacetime around a BH in any metric theory of gravity. Here, we review our current knowledge of the physical properties of Sgr A* as well as the current status of such experimental efforts towards imaging the event horizon, measuring stellar orbits, and timing pulsars around Sgr A*.
- 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.
- 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:1606.01210v1This 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 07 2016 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1603.01464v2To explain the extremely high energy release, $>10^{53}$~erg, suggested by the observations of some Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) we propose a new energy extraction mechanism from the rotation energy of a Kerr-Newman black hole (BH) by a massive photon field. Numerical results show that this mechanism is stable with respect to the black hole rotation parameter, $a$, with a clear dependence on the BH mass, $M$, and charge, $Q$, and can extract energies up to $10^{54}$ erg. The controversial "energy crisis" problem of GRBs that does not show evidence for collimated emission may benefit of this energy extraction mechanism. With these results we set a lower bound on the coupling between electromagnetic and gravitational fields.
- 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.
- 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 $2$--$600 \, \mathrm{Gpc}^{-3} \mathrm{yr}^{-1}$.
- Over the past decades, the role of torsion in gravity has been extensively investigated along the main direction of bringing gravity closer to its gauge formulation and incorporating spin in a geometric description. Here we review various torsional constructions, from teleparallel, to Einstein-Cartan, and metric-affine gauge theories, resulting in extending torsional gravity in the paradigm of f(T) gravity, where f(T) is an arbitrary function of the torsion scalar. Based on this theory, we further review the corresponding cosmological and astrophysical applications. In particular, we study cosmological solutions arising from f(T) gravity, both at the background and perturbation levels, in different eras along the cosmic expansion. The f(T) gravity construction can provide a theoretical interpretation of the late-time universe acceleration, and it can easily accommodate with the regular thermal expanding history including the radiation and cold dark matter dominated phases. Furthermore, if one traces back to very early times, a sufficiently long period of inflation can be achieved and hence can be investigated by cosmic microwave background observations, or alternatively, the Big Bang singularity can be avoided due to the appearance of non-singular bounces. Various observational constraints, especially the bounds coming from the large-scale structure data in the case of f(T) cosmology, as well as the behavior of gravitational waves, are described in detail. Moreover, the spherically symmetric and black hole solutions of the theory are reviewed. Additionally, we discuss various extensions of the f(T) paradigm. Finally, we consider the relation with other modified gravitational theories, such as those based on curvature, like f(R) gravity, trying to enlighten the subject of which formulation might be more suitable for quantization ventures and cosmological applications.
- Archimedes is a feasibility study of a future experiment to ascertain the interaction of vacuum fluctuations with gravity. The experiment should measure the force that the earth's gravitational field exerts on a Casimir cavity by using a small force detector. Here we analyse the main parameters of the experiment and we present its conceptual scheme, which overcomes in principle the most critical problems.
- 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.
- Nov 03 2015 gr-qc physics.ins-det arXiv:1511.00609v1Archimedes is an INFN-funded pathfinder experiment aimed at verifying the feasibility of measuring the interaction of vacuum fluctuations with gravity. The final experiment will measure the force exerted by the gravitational field on a Casimir cavity whose vacuum energy is modulated with a superconductive transition, by using a balance as a small force detector. Archimedes is a two-year project devoted to test the most critical experimental aspects, in particular the balance resonance frequency and quality factor, the thermal modulation efficiency and the superconductive sample realization.
- 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.
- Sep 29 2015 gr-qc arXiv:1509.08008v3We shall discuss cosmological models in extended theories of gravitation. We shall define a surface, called the model surface, in the space of observable parameters which characterises families of theories. We also show how this surface can be used to compare with observations. The model surface can potentially be used to falsify whole families of models instead reasoning on a single model basis as it is usually done by best fit arguments with observations.
- We discuss the Mass -Radius diagram for static neutron star models obtained by the numerical solution of modified Tolman-Oppenheimer-Volkoff equations in $f(R)$ gravity where the Lagrangians $f(R)=R+\alpha R^2 (1+\gamma R)$ and $f(R)=R^{1+\epsilon }$ are adopted. Unlike the case of the perturbative approach previously reported, the solutions are constrained by the presence of an extra degree of freedom, coming from the trace of the field equations. In particular, the stiffness of the equation of state determines an upper limit on the central density $\rho_c$ above which the the positivity condition of energy-matter tensor trace $T^{\rm m}=\rho - 3 p$ holds. In the case of quadratic f(R)-gravity, we find higher masses and radii at lower central densities with an inversion of the behavior around a pivoting $\rho_c$ which depends on the choice of the equation of state. When considering the cubic corrections, we find solutions converging to the required asymptotic behavior of flat metric only for $\gamma < 0$. A similar analysis is performed for $f(R)=R^{1+\epsilon }$ considering $\epsilon$ as the leading parameter. We work strictly in the Jordan frame in order to consider matter minimally coupled with respect to geometry. This fact allows us to avoid ambiguities that could emerge in adopting the Einstein frame.
- Jul 23 2015 gr-qc arXiv:1507.06123v2Over the past decades, General Relativity and the concordance $\Lambda$CDM model have been successfully tested using several different astrophysical and cosmological probes based on large datasets (\it precision cosmology). Despite their successes, some shortcomings emerge due to the fact that General Relativity should be revised at infrared and ultraviolet limits and to the fact that the fundamental nature of Dark Matter and Dark Energy is still a puzzle to be solved. In this perspective, $f(R)$ gravity have been extensively investigated being the most straightforward way to modify General Relativity and to overcame some of the above shortcomings. In this paper, we review various aspects of $f(R)$ gravity at extragalactic and cosmological levels. In particular, we consider cluster of galaxies, cosmological perturbations, and N-Body simulations, focusing on those models that satisfy both cosmological and local gravity constraints. The perspective is that some classes of $f(R)$ models can be consistently constrained by Large Scale Structure.
- Jun 02 2015 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1506.00106v1In this work we present a procedure to infer the mass of progenitors and remnants of Gamma Ray Bursts (GRB), starting from the observed energy $E_{iso}^{GRB}$ emitted isotropically and considering the associated emission of Gravitational Waves (GW) $ E_{iso}^{GW}$ in the different phases. We assume that the GW energy of the progenitor $E_{PROG}^{GW}$ is emitted partially during a star collapse, and the residual energy is related to the GW energy emitted by the remnant. We take a sample of $237$ Long GRB, and use an hybrid Montecarlo procedure to explore, for each of them, a region of possible solutions of $ E_{iso}^{GW}$ as a function of the masses, radii, oblateness, rotation frequencies of progenitor and remnant and the fraction of energy $k$ emitted as GW by the GRB. We discriminate between a Neutron Star (NS) or Black Hole (BH) for the remnant and obtain interesting values for the GW emitted by the remnant NS or BH, for the conversion factor $k$ of and for the masses and radii of GRB progenitor stars. We also obtain remnant populations with mean masses, mean GW frequencies and GRB frequency of GW emission in agreement with the most accepted models.
- Cosmological inflation is discussed in the framework of $F(R,{\cal G})$ gravity where $F$ is a generic function of the curvature scalar $R$ and the Gauss-Bonnet topological invariant $\cal G$. The main feature that emerges in this analysis is the fact that this kind of theory can exhaust all the curvature budget related to curvature invariants without considering derivatives of $R,$ $R_{\mu\nu}$, $R^{\lambda}_{\sigma\mu\nu}$ etc. in the action. Cosmological dynamics results driven by two effective masses (lenghts) related to the $R$ scalaron and the $\cal G$ scalaron working respectively at early and very early epochs of cosmic evolution. In this sense, a double inflationary scenario naturally emerges.
- In the framework of a Varying Speed of Light theory, we study the eigenvalues associated with the Wheeler-DeWitt equation representing the vacuum expectation values associated with the cosmological constant. We find that the Wheeler-DeWitt equation for the Friedmann-Lemaı̂tre-Robertson-Walker metric is completely equivalent to a Sturm-Liouville problem provided that the related eigenvalue and the cosmological constant be identified. The explicit calculation is performed with the help of a variational procedure with trial wave functionals related to the Bessel function of the second kind $K_{\nu }\left( x\right) $. We find the existence of a family of eigenvalues associated to a negative power of the scale. Furthermore, we show that at the inflationary scale such a family of eigenvalues does not appear.
- We consider curvature-teleparallel $F(R,T)$ gravity, where the gravitational Lagrangian density is given by an arbitrary function of the Ricci scalar $R$ and the torsion scalar $T$. Using the Noether Symmetry Approach, we show that the functional form of the $F(R, T)$ function, can be determined by the presence of symmetries . Furthermore, we obtain exact solutions through to the presence of conserved quantities and the reduction of cosmological dynamical system. Example of particular cosmological models are considered.
- 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.
- Dec 02 2014 astro-ph.CO gr-qc arXiv:1412.0095v1Analytical $f(R)$-gravity models introduce Yukawa-like corrections to the Newtonian potential in the weak field limit. These models can explain the dynamics of galaxies and cluster of galaxies without requiring dark matter. To test the model, we have computed the pressure profile of 579 X-ray galaxy clusters assuming the gas is in hydrostatic equilibrium within the potential well of the modified gravitational potential. We have compared those profiles with the ones measured in the foreground cleaned SMICA released by the Planck Collaboration. Our results show that Extended Theories of Gravity explain the dynamics of self-gravitating systems at cluster scales and represent an alternative to dark matter haloes.
- We consider the Noether Symmetry Approach for a cosmological model derived from a tachyon scalar field $T$ with a Dirac-Born-Infeld Lagrangian and a potential $V(T)$. Furthermore, we assume a coupled canonical scalar field $\phi$ with an arbitrary interaction potential $B(T,\phi)$. Exact solutions are derived consistent with the accelerated behavior of cosmic fluid.
- The issues of quintessence and cosmic acceleration can be discussed in the framework of $F(R, {\cal G})$ theories of gravity where $R$ is the Ricci curvature scalar and ${\cal G}$ is the Gauss-Bonnet topological invariant. It is possible to show that such an approach exhausts all the curvature content related to the Riemann tensor giving rise to a fully geometric approach to dark energy.
- Inflation and dark energy are two of the most relevant aspects of modern cosmology. These different epochs provide the universe is passing through accelerated phases soon after the Big-Bang and at present stage of its evolution. In this review paper, we discuss that both eras can be, in principle, described by a geometric picture, under the standard of $f(R)$ gravity. We give the fundamental physics motivations and outline the main ingredients of $f(R)$ inflation, quintessence and cosmography. This wants to be a quick summary of $f(R)$ paradigm without claiming of completeness.
- 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.