Publications (83)211.68 Total impact
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ABSTRACT: We report the results of a multimessenger search for coincident signals from the LIGO and Virgo gravitationalwave observatories and the partially completed IceCube highenergy neutrino detector, including periods of joint operation between 20072010. These include parts of the 20052007 run and the 20092010 run for LIGOVirgo, and IceCube's observation periods with 22, 59 and 79 strings. We find no significant coincident events, and use the search results to derive upper limits on the rate of joint sources for a range of source emission parameters. For the optimistic assumption of gravitationalwave emission energy of $10^{2}$ M$_\odot$c$^2$ at $\sim 150$ Hz with $\sim 60$ ms duration, and highenergy neutrino emission of $10^{51}$ erg comparable to the isotropic gammaray energy of gammaray bursts, we limit the source rate below $1.6 \times 10^{2}$ Mpc$^{3}$yr$^{1}$. We also examine how combining information from gravitational waves and neutrinos will aid discovery in the advanced gravitationalwave detector era.Physical Review D 11/2014; 90:102002. · 4.69 Impact Factor  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In this paper we present the results of a coherent narrowband search for continuous gravitationalwave 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 Xray observations of the pulsar wind torii. For Vela the upper limits are comparable to the spindown limit, computed assuming that all the observed spindown is due to the emission of gravitational waves. For Crab the upper limits are about a factor of two below the spindown limit, and represent a significant improvement with respect to past analysis. This is the first time the spindown limit is significantly overcome in a narrowband search.10/2014;  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In 20092010, the Laser Interferometer Gravitationalwave 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 gravitationalwave 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.10/2014;  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Searches for a stochastic gravitationalwave background (SGWB) using terrestrial detectors typically involve crosscorrelating data from pairs of detectors. The sensitivity of such crosscorrelation analyses depends, among other things, on the separation between the two detectors: the smaller the separation, the better the sensitivity. Hence, a colocated detector pair is more sensitive to a gravitationalwave background than a noncolocated detector pair. However, colocated 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 colocated 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 gravitationalwave signal. However, at high frequencies, 4601000 Hz, these techniques are sufficient to set a $95\%$ confidence level (C.L.) upper limit on the gravitationalwave 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.10/2014;  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We present the results of a search for gravitational waves associated with 223 gammaray bursts (GRBs) detected by the InterPlanetary Network (IPN) in 20052010 during LIGO's fifth and sixth science runs and Virgo's first, second and third science runs. The IPN satellites provide accurate times of the bursts and sky localizations that vary significantly from degree scale to hundreds of square degrees. We search for both a wellmodeled binary coalescence signal, the favored progenitor model for short GRBs, and for generic, unmodeled gravitational wave bursts. Both searches use the event time and sky localization to improve the gravitationalwave search sensitivity as compared to corresponding alltime, allsky searches. We find no evidence of a gravitationalwave signal associated with any of the IPN GRBs in the sample, nor do we find evidence for a population of weak gravitationalwave signals associated with the GRBs. For all IPNdetected GRBs, for which a sufficient duration of quality gravitationalwave data is available, we place lower bounds on the distance to the source in accordance with an optimistic assumption of gravitationalwave emission energy of $10^{2}M_{\odot}c^2$ at 150 Hz, and find a median of 13 Mpc. For the 27 shorthard GRBs we place 90% confidence exclusion distances to two source models: a binary neutron star coalescence, with a median distance of 12Mpc, or the coalescence of a neutron star and black hole, with a median distance of 22 Mpc. Finally, we combine this search with previously published results to provide a population statement for GRB searches in firstgeneration LIGO and Virgo gravitationalwave detectors, and a resulting examination of prospects for the advanced gravitationalwave detectors.Physical Review Letters 06/2014; 113(1):011102. · 7.73 Impact Factor  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: 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 gravitationalwave background models, the data display no evidence of a stochastic gravitationalwave signal. Assuming a gravitationalwave 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 41.51726 Hz. In the frequency band of 41.5169.25 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 6001000 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 170600 Hz and Omega_GW(f)<1.0*(f/1300 Hz)^3 for 10001726 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 detection of inflationary gravitational waves.06/2014; 
Article: First allsky search for continuous gravitational waves from unknown sources in binary systems
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ABSTRACT: We present the first results of an allsky 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 perioddependent range of frequency modulation depths from 0.277 to 100 mHz. This corresponds to a range of projected semimajor axes of the orbit from ~0.6e3 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 2.3e24 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 lowmass xray binary Scorpius X1 between 20 Hz and 57.25 Hz.05/2014;  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In this paper we report on a search for shortduration gravitational wave bursts in the frequency range 64 Hz1792 Hz associated with gammaray bursts (GRBs), using data from GEO600 and one of the LIGO or Virgo detectors. We introduce the method of a linear search grid to analyse GRB events with large sky localisation uncertainties such as the localisations provided by the Fermi Gammaray Burst Monitor (GBM). Coherent searches for gravitational waves (GWs) can be computationally intensive when the GRB sky position is not welllocalised, due to the corrections required for the difference in arrival time between detectors. Using a linear search grid we are able to reduce the computational cost of the analysis by a factor of O(10) for GBM events. Furthermore, we demonstrate that our analysis pipeline can improve upon the sky localisation of GRBs detected by the GBM, if a highfrequency GW signal is observed in coincidence. We use the linear search grid method in a search for GWs associated with 129 GRBs observed satellitebased gammaray experiments between 2006 and 2011. The GRBs in our sample had not been previously analysed for GW counterparts. A fraction of our GRB events are analysed using data from GEO600 while the detector was using squeezedlight states to improve its sensitivity; this is the first search for GWs using data from a squeezedlight interferometric observatory. We find no evidence for GW signals, either with any individual GRB in this sample or with the population as a whole. For each GRB we place lower bounds on the distance to the progenitor, assuming a fixed GW emission energy of $10^{2} M_{\odot}c^{2}$, with a median exclusion distance of 0.8 Mpc for emission at 500 Hz and 0.3 Mpc at 1 kHz. The reduced computational cost associated with a linear search grid will enable rapid searches for GWs associated with Fermi GBM events in the Advanced detector era.05/2014; 

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ABSTRACT: This paper reports on an unmodeled, allsky search for gravitational waves from merging intermediate mass black hole binaries (IMBHB). The search was performed on data from the second joint science run of the LIGO and Virgo detectors (July 2009  October 2010) and was sensitive to IMBHBs with a range up to $\sim 200$ Mpc, averaged over the possible sky positions and inclinations of the binaries with respect to the line of sight. No significant candidate was found. Upper limits on the coalescencerate density of nonspinning IMBHBs with total masses between 100 and $450 \ \mbox{M}_{\odot}$ and mass ratios between $0.25$ and $1\,$ were placed by combining this analysis with an analogous search performed on data from the first LIGOVirgo joint science run (November 2005  October 2007). The most stringent limit was set for systems consisting of two $88 \ \mbox{M}_{\odot}$ black holes and is equal to $0.12 \ \mbox{Mpc}^{3} \ \mbox{Myr}^{1}$ at the $90\%$ confidence level. This paper also presents the first estimate, for the case of an unmodeled analysis, of the impact on the search range of IMBHB spin configurations: the visible volume for IMBHBs with nonspinning components is roughly doubled for a population of IMBHBs with spins aligned with the binary's orbital angular momentum and uniformly distributed in the dimensionless spin parameter up to 0.8, whereas an analogous population with antialigned spins decreases the visible volume by $\sim 20\%\,$.04/2014;  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We report results from a search for gravitational waves produced by perturbed intermediate mass black holes (IMBH) in data collected by LIGO and Virgo between 2005 and 2010. The search was sensitive to astrophysical sources that produced damped sinusoid gravitational wave signals, also known as ringdowns, with frequency $50\le f_{0}/\mathrm{Hz} \le 2000$ and decay timescale $0.0001\lesssim \tau/\mathrm{s} \lesssim 0.1$ characteristic of those produced in mergers of IMBH pairs. No significant gravitational wave candidate was detected. We report upper limits on the astrophysical coalescence rates of IMBHs with total binary mass $50 \le M/\mathrm{M}_\odot \le 450$ and component mass ratios of either 1:1 or 4:1. For systems with total mass $100 \le M/\mathrm{M}_\odot \le 150$, we report a 90%confidence upper limit on the rate of binary IMBH mergers with nonspinning and equal mass components of $6.9\times10^{8}\,$Mpc$^{3}$yr$^{1}$. We also report a rate upper limit for ringdown waveforms from perturbed IMBHs, radiating 1% of their mass as gravitational waves in the fundamental, $\ell=m=2$, oscillation mode, that is nearly three orders of magnitude more stringent than previous results.03/2014;  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We present an implementation of the $\mathcal{F}$statistic to carry out the first search in data from the Virgo laser interferometric gravitational wave detector for periodic gravitational waves from a priori unknown, isolated rotating neutron stars. We searched a frequency $f_0$ range from 100 Hz to 1 kHz and the frequency dependent spindown $f_1$ range from $1.6\,(f_0/100\,{\rm Hz}) \times 10^{9}\,$ Hz/s to zero. A large part of this frequency  spindown space was unexplored by any of the allsky searches published so far. Our method consisted of a coherent search over twoday periods using the $\mathcal{F}$statistic, followed by a search for coincidences among the candidates from the twoday segments. We have introduced a number of novel techniques and algorithms that allow the use of the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) algorithm in the coherent part of the search resulting in a fiftyfold speedup in computation of the $\mathcal{F}$statistic with respect to the algorithm used in the other pipelines. No significant gravitational wave signal was found. The sensitivity of the search was estimated by injecting signals into the data. In the most sensitive parts of the detector band more than 90% of signals would have been detected with dimensionless gravitationalwave amplitude greater than $5 \times 10^{24}$.Classical and Quantum Gravity 02/2014; 31(16). · 3.56 Impact Factor  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The Numerical INJection Analysis (NINJA) project is a collaborative effort between members of the numerical relativity and gravitationalwave astrophysics communities. The purpose of NINJA is to study the ability to detect gravitational waves emitted from merging binary black holes and recover their parameters with nextgeneration gravitationalwave observatories. We report here on the results of the second NINJA project, NINJA2, which employs 60 complete binary black hole hybrid waveforms consisting of a numerical portion modelling the late inspiral, merger, and ringdown stitched to a postNewtonian portion modelling the early inspiral. In a "blind injection challenge" similar to that conducted in recent LIGO and Virgo science runs, we added 7 hybrid waveforms to two months of data recolored to predictions of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo sensitivity curves during their first observing runs. The resulting data was analyzed by gravitationalwave detection algorithms and 6 of the waveforms were recovered with false alarm rates smaller than 1 in a thousand years. Parameter estimation algorithms were run on each of these waveforms to explore the ability to constrain the masses, component angular momenta and sky position of these waveforms. We also perform a largescale montecarlo study to assess the ability to recover each of the 60 hybrid waveforms with early Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo sensitivity curves. Our results predict that early Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo will have a volumeweighted average sensitive distance of 300Mpc (1Gpc) for $10M_{\odot}+10M_{\odot}$ ($50M_{\odot}+50M_{\odot}$) binary black hole coalescences. We demonstrate that neglecting the component angular momenta in the waveform models used in matchedfiltering will result in a reduction in sensitivity for systems with large component angular momenta. [Abstract abridged for ArXiv, full version in PDF]01/2014; 
Article: Optimizing gravitationalwave searches for a population of coalescing binaries: Intrinsic parameters
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ABSTRACT: We revisit the problem of searching for gravitational waves from inspiralling compact binaries in Gaussian coloured noise. For binaries with quasicircular orbits and nonprecessing component spins, considering dominant mode emission only, if the intrinsic parameters of the binary are known then the optimal statistic for a single detector is the wellknown twophase matched filter. However, the matched filter signaltonoise ratio is /not/ in general an optimal statistic for an astrophysical population of signals, since their distribution over the intrinsic parameters will almost certainly not mirror that of noise events, which is determined by the (Fisher) information metric. Instead, the optimal statistic for a given astrophysical distribution will be the Bayes factor, which we approximate using the output of a standard template matched filter search. We then quantify the possible improvement in number of signals detected for various populations of nonspinning binaries. The method may easily be generalized to binaries with nonprecessing spins.11/2013; 89(6).  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Cosmic string cusps produce powerful bursts of gravitational waves (GWs). These bursts provide the most promising observational signature of cosmic strings. In this letter we report stringent limits on cosmic string models obtained from the analysis of 625 days of observation with the LIGO and Virgo GW detectors. A significant fraction of the cosmic string parameter space is ruled out. This result complements and improves existing limits from searches for a stochastic background of GWs using cosmic microwave background and pulsar timing data. In particular, if the size of loops is given by gravitational backreaction, we place upper limits on the string tension $G\mu$ below $10^{8}$ in some regions of the cosmic string parameter space.Physical Review Letters 10/2013; · 7.73 Impact Factor  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We present the results of a directed search for continuous gravitational waves from unknown, isolated neutron stars in the Galactic Center region, performed on two years of data from LIGO's fifth science run from two LIGO detectors. The search uses a semicoherent approach, analyzing coherently 630 segments, each spanning 11.5 hours, and then incoherently combining the results of the single segments. It covers gravitational wave frequencies in a range from 78 to 496 Hz and a frequencydependent range of first order spindown values down to 7.86 x 10^8 Hz/s at the highest frequency. No gravitational waves were detected. We place 90% confidence upper limits on the gravitational wave amplitude of sources at the Galactic Center. Placing 90% confidence upper limits on the gravitational wave amplitude of sources at the Galactic Center, we reach ~3.35x10^25 for frequencies near 150 Hz. These upper limits are the most constraining to date for a largeparameterspace search for continuous gravitational wave signals.Physical Review D 09/2013; · 4.69 Impact Factor 
Article: A search for longlived gravitationalwave transients coincident with long gammaray bursts
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ABSTRACT: Long gammaray bursts (GRBs) have been linked to extreme corecollapse supernovae from massive stars. Gravitational waves (GW) offer a probe of the physics behind long GRBs. We investigate models of longlived (~101000s) GW emission associated with the accretion disk of a collapsed star or with its protoneutron star remnant. Using data from LIGO's fifth science run, and GRB triggers from the swift experiment, we perform a search for unmodeled longlived GW transients. Finding no evidence of GW emission, we place 90% confidence level upper limits on the GW fluence at Earth from long GRBs for three waveforms inspired by a model of GWs from accretion disk instabilities. These limits range from F<3.5 ergs cm^2 to $F<1200 ergs cm^2, depending on the GRB and on the model, allowing us to probe optimistic scenarios of GW production out to distances as far as ~33 Mpc. Advanced detectors are expected to achieve strain sensitivities 10x better than initial LIGO, potentially allowing us to probe the engines of the nearest long GRBs.Physical Review D 09/2013; 88:122004. · 4.69 Impact Factor  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We present the results of searches for gravitational waves from a large selection of pulsars using data from the most recent science runs (S6, VSR2 and VSR4) of the initial generation of interferometric gravitational wave detectors LIGO (Laser Interferometric Gravitationalwave Observatory) and Virgo. We do not see evidence for gravitational wave emission from any of the targeted sources but produce upper limits on the emission amplitude. We highlight the results from seven young pulsars with large spindown luminosities. We reach within a factor of five of the canonical spindown limit for all seven of these, whilst for the Crab and Vela pulsars we further surpass their spindown limits. We present new or updated limits for 172 other pulsars (including both young and millisecond pulsars). Now that the detectors are undergoing major upgrades, and, for completeness, we bring together all of the most uptodate results from all pulsars searched for during the operations of the firstgeneration LIGO, Virgo and GEO600 detectors. This gives a total of 195 pulsars including the most recent results described in this paper.The Astrophysical Journal 09/2013; 785(2):18. · 6.73 Impact Factor 
Article: Enhanced sensitivity of the LIGO gravitational wave detector by using squeezed states of light
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ABSTRACT: Nearly a century after Einstein first predicted the existence of gravitational waves, a global network of Earthbased gravitational wave observatories1, 2, 3, 4 is seeking to directly detect this faint radiation using precision laser interferometry. Photon shot noise, due to the quantum nature of light, imposes a fundamental limit on the attometrelevel sensitivity of the kilometrescale Michelson interferometers deployed for this task. Here, we inject squeezed states to improve the performance of one of the detectors of the Laser Interferometer GravitationalWave Observatory (LIGO) beyond the quantum noise limit, most notably in the frequency region down to 150 Hz, critically important for several astrophysical sources, with no deterioration of performance observed at any frequency. With the injection of squeezed states, this LIGO detector demonstrated the best broadband sensitivity to gravitational waves ever achieved, with important implications for observing the gravitationalwave Universe with unprecedented sensitivity.Nature Photonics 07/2013; 7:613. · 27.25 Impact Factor
Publication Stats
403  Citations  
211.68  Total Impact Points  
Top Journals
Institutions

2009–2012

Cardiff University
 School of Physics and Astronomy
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom


2007–2008

Universität Heidelberg
 Institute of Theoretical Physics
Heidelberg, BadenWuerttemberg, Germany


2003–2005

University of Ioannina
 Laboratory of Theoretical Physics
Ioánnina, Ipeiros, Greece 
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
 • Department of Technology
 • Department of Physics, Analytical and Environmental Chemistry
Thessaloníki, Kentriki Makedonia, Greece


2000–2002

University of Michigan
 • Center for Theoretical Physics
 • Department of Physics
Ann Arbor, MI, United States


1999

University of Sussex
Brighton, England, United Kingdom
