S. Rowan

Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

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Publications (352)856.77 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Indium bonding is under consideration for use in the construction of cryogenic mirror suspensions in future gravitational wave detectors. This paper presents measurements of the mechanical loss of a thermally evaporated indium film over a broad range of frequencies and temperatures. It provides an estimate of the resulting thermal noise at 20 K for a typical test mass geometry for a cryogenic interferometric gravitational wave detector from an indium layer between suspension elements.
    Classical and Quantum Gravity 06/2015; 32(11). DOI:10.1088/0264-9381/32/11/115014 · 3.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hydroxide catalysis bonding has been used in gravitational wave detectors to precisely and securely join components of quasi-monolithic silica suspensions. Plans to operate future detectors at cryogenic temperatures has created the need for a change in the test mass and suspension material. Mono-crystalline sapphire is one candidate material for use at cryogenic temperatures and is being investigated for use in the KAGRA detector. The crystalline structure of sapphire may influence the properties of the hydroxide catalysis bond formed. Here, results are presented of studies of the potential influence of the crystal orientation of sapphire on the shear strength of the hydroxide catalysis bonds formed between sapphire samples. The strength was tested at approximately 8 K; this is the first measurement of the strength of such bonds between sapphire at such reduced temperatures. Our results suggest that all orientation combinations investigated produce bonds of sufficient strength for use in typical mirror suspension designs, with average strengths >23 MPa.
    Classical and Quantum Gravity 04/2015; 32(7). DOI:10.1088/0264-9381/32/7/075013 · 3.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Advanced LIGO gravitational wave detectors are second-generation instruments designed and built for the two LIGO observatories in Hanford, WA and Livingston, LA, USA. The two instruments are identical in design, and are specialized versions of a Michelson interferometer with 4 km long arms. As in Initial LIGO, Fabry–Perot cavities are used in the arms to increase the interaction time with a gravitational wave, and power recycling is used to increase the effective laser power. Signal recycling has been added in Advanced LIGO to improve the frequency response. In the most sensitive frequency region around 100 Hz, the design strain sensitivity is a factor of 10 better than Initial LIGO. In addition, the low frequency end of the sensitivity band is moved from 40 Hz down to 10 Hz. All interferometer components have been replaced with improved technologies to achieve this sensitivity gain. Much better seismic isolation and test mass suspensions are responsible for the gains at lower frequencies. Higher laser power, larger test masses and improved mirror coatings lead to the improved sensitivity at mid and high frequencies. Data collecting runs with these new instruments are planned to begin in mid-2015.
    Classical and Quantum Gravity 04/2015; 32(7). DOI:10.1088/0264-9381/32/7/074001 · 3.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Amorphous tantala (a-Ta2O5) is a technologically important material often used in high-performance coatings. Understanding this material at the atomic level provides a way to further improve performance. This work details extended X-ray absorption fine structure measurements of a-Ta2O5 coatings, where high-quality experimental data and theoretical fits have allowed a detailed interpretation of the nearest-neighbor distributions. It was found that the tantalum atom is surrounded by four shells of atoms in sequence; oxygen, tantalum, oxygen, and tantalum. A discussion is also included on how these models can be interpreted within the context of published crystalline Ta 2O5 and other a-T2O5 studies.
    03/2015; 3(3):036103. DOI:10.1063/1.4913586
  • Physical Review D 03/2015; 91(6). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevD.91.069904 · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Thermal noise associated with the dielectric optical coatings used to form the mirrors of interferometric gravitational wave detectors is expected to be an important limit to the sensitivity of future detectors. Improvements in detector performance are likely to require coating materials of lower mechanical dissipation. Typically, current coatings use multiple alternating layers of ion-beam-sputtered amorphous silica and tantalum pentoxide (doped with titania). We present here measurements of the mechanical dissipation of promising alternative crystalline coatings that use multi-layers of single crystal gallium phosphide (GaP) and aluminium gallium phosphide (AlGaP) that are epitaxially grown and lattice matched to a silicon substrate. Analysis shows that the dissipation of the crystalline coating materials appears to be significantly lower than that of the currently used amorphous coatings, potentially enabling a reduction of coating thermal noise in future gravitational wave detectors.
    Classical and Quantum Gravity 02/2015; 32(3):035002. DOI:10.1088/0264-9381/32/3/035002 · 3.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe directed searches for continuous gravitational waves in data from the sixth LIGO science data run. The targets were nine young supernova remnants not associated with pulsars; eight of the remnants are associated with non-pulsing suspected neutron stars. One target's parameters are uncertain enough to warrant two searches, for a total of ten. Each search covered a broad band of frequencies and first and second frequency derivatives for a fixed sky direction. The searches coherently integrated data from the two LIGO interferometers over time spans from 5.3-25.3 days using the matched-filtering F-statistic. We found no credible gravitational-wave signals. We set 95% confidence upper limits as strong (low) as $4\times10^{-25}$ on intrinsic strain, $2\times10^{-7}$ on fiducial ellipticity, and $4\times10^{-5}$ on r-mode amplitude. These beat the indirect limits from energy conservation and are within the range of theoretical predictions for neutron-star ellipticities and r-mode amplitudes.
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    ABSTRACT: The sensitivity of 2nd and 3rd generations of interferometric gravitational wave detectors will be limited by thermal noise of the test-mass mirrors and highly reflective coatings. Recently developed crystalline coatings show a promising thermal noise reduction compared to presently used amorphous coatings. However, stringent requirements apply to the optical properties of the coatings as well. We have mapped the optical absorption of a crystalline AlGaAs coating which is optimized for high reflectivity for a wavelength of 1064nm. The absorption was measured at 1550nm where the coating stack transmits approximately 70% of the laser light. The measured absorption was lower than (30.2 +/- 11.1)ppm which is equivalent to (3.6 +/- 1.3)ppm for a coating stack that is highly reflective at 1530nm. While this is a very promising low absorption result for alternative low--loss coating materials, further work will be necessary to reach the requirements of <1ppm for future gravitational wave detectors.
    Classical and Quantum Gravity 12/2014; 32(10). DOI:10.1088/0264-9381/32/10/105008 · 3.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We 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.
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    ABSTRACT: We report the results of a multimessenger search for coincident signals from the LIGO and Virgo gravitational-wave observatories and the partially completed IceCube high-energy neutrino detector, including periods of joint operation between 2007-2010. These include parts of the 2005-2007 run and the 2009-2010 run for LIGO-Virgo, 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 gravitational-wave emission energy of $10^{-2}$ M$_\odot$c$^2$ at $\sim 150$ Hz with $\sim 60$ ms duration, and high-energy neutrino emission of $10^{51}$ erg comparable to the isotropic gamma-ray energy of gamma-ray 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 gravitational-wave detector era.
    Physical Review D 11/2014; 90:102002. DOI:10.1103/PhysRevD.90.102002 · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Future gravitational wave detectors (GWDs) such as Advanced LIGO upgrades and the Einstein Telescope are planned to operate at cryogenic temperatures using crystalline silicon (cSi) test-mass mirrors at an operation wavelength of 1550 nm. The reduction in temperature in principle provides a direct reduction in coating thermal noise, but the presently used coating stacks which are composed of silica (SiO2) and tantala (Ta2O5) show cryogenic loss peaks which results in less thermal noise improvement than might be expected. Due to low mechanical loss at low temperature amorphous silicon (aSi) is a very promising candidate material for dielectric mirror coatings and could replace Ta2O5. Unfortunately, such a aSi/SiO2 coating is not suitable for use in GWDs due to high optical absorption in aSi coatings. We explore the use of a three material based coating stack. In this multi-material design the low absorbing Ta2O5 in the outermost coating layers significantly reduces the incident light power, while aSi is used only in the lower bilayers to maintain low optical absorption. Such a coating design would enable a reduction of Brownian thermal noise by 25%. We show experimentally that an optical absorption of only (5.3 +/- 0.4)ppm at 1550 nm should be achievable.
    Physical Review D 11/2014; 91(4). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevD.91.042001 · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: For almost 20 years, advanced techniques have been developed and tested at the GEO 600 laser-interferometric gravitational wave detector. Many of these innovations have improved the sensitivity of GEO 600 and could be shown to be consistent with stable and reliable operation of gravitational wave detectors. We review the performance of these techniques and show how they have influenced the upgrades of other detectors worldwide. In the second half of the paper, we consider how GEO 600 continues to pioneer new techniques for future gravitational wave detectors. We describe some of the new methods in detail and present new results on how they improve the sensitivity and/or the stability of GEO 600 and possibly of future detectors.
    Classical and Quantum Gravity 11/2014; 31(22):224002. DOI:10.1088/0264-9381/31/22/224002 · 3.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 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.
    Physical Review D 10/2014; 91(2). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevD.91.022004 · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In 2009-2010, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observa- tory (LIGO) operated together with international partners Virgo and GEO600 as a network to search for gravitational waves of astrophysical origin. The sensitiv- ity of these detectors was limited by a combination of noise sources inherent to the instrumental design and its environment, often localized in time or frequency, that couple into the gravitational-wave readout. Here we review the performance of the LIGO instruments during this epoch, the work done to characterize the de- tectors and their data, and the effect that transient and continuous noise artefacts have on the sensitivity of LIGO to a variety of astrophysical sources.
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    ABSTRACT: Searches for a stochastic gravitational-wave background (SGWB) using terrestrial detectors typically involve cross-correlating data from pairs of detectors. The sensitivity of such cross-correlation analyses depends, among other things, on the separation between the two detectors: the smaller the separation, the better the sensitivity. Hence, a co-located detector pair is more sensitive to a gravitational-wave background than a non-co-located detector pair. However, co-located detectors are also expected to suffer from correlated noise from instrumental and environmental effects that could contaminate the measurement of the background. Hence, methods to identify and mitigate the effects of correlated noise are necessary to achieve the potential increase in sensitivity of co-located detectors. Here we report on the first SGWB analysis using the two LIGO Hanford detectors and address the complications arising from correlated environmental noise. We apply correlated noise identification and mitigation techniques to data taken by the two LIGO Hanford detectors, H1 and H2, during LIGO's fifth science run. At low frequencies, 40 - 460 Hz, we are unable to sufficiently mitigate the correlated noise to a level where we may confidently measure or bound the stochastic gravitational-wave signal. However, at high frequencies, 460-1000 Hz, these techniques are sufficient to set a $95\%$ confidence level (C.L.) upper limit on the gravitational-wave energy density of \Omega(f)<7.7 x 10^{-4} (f/ 900 Hz)^3, which improves on the previous upper limit by a factor of $\sim 180$. In doing so, we demonstrate techniques that will be useful for future searches using advanced detectors, where correlated noise (e.g., from global magnetic fields) may affect even widely separated detectors.
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    ABSTRACT: Future gravitational wave detectors could have their sensitivity significantly limited, at frequencies below 10 Hz, by the presence of fluctuating electrostatic charges on the dielectric surfaces of the detector optics. A confirmed observation of the effect of fluctuating charges, or charging noise, in a gravitational wave detector has still to be made and it has never been experimentally verified by any other means. This paper presents a direct measurement of the fluctuating force noise created by moving charges on a dielectric surface using a servo controlled torsion balance. The results confirm that the fluctuating force noise caused by excess charges can be best described by a Markov process with a single correlation time and has a frequency dependence of .
    Classical and Quantum Gravity 08/2014; 31(17):175007. DOI:10.1088/0264-9381/31/17/175007 · 3.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the results of a search for gravitational waves associated with 223 gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) detected by the InterPlanetary Network (IPN) in 2005-2010 during LIGO's fifth and sixth science runs and Virgo's first, second and third science runs. The IPN satellites provide accurate times of the bursts and sky localizations that vary significantly from degree scale to hundreds of square degrees. We search for both a well-modeled binary coalescence signal, the favored progenitor model for short GRBs, and for generic, unmodeled gravitational wave bursts. Both searches use the event time and sky localization to improve the gravitational-wave search sensitivity as compared to corresponding all-time, all-sky searches. We find no evidence of a gravitational-wave signal associated with any of the IPN GRBs in the sample, nor do we find evidence for a population of weak gravitational-wave signals associated with the GRBs. For all IPN-detected GRBs, for which a sufficient duration of quality gravitational-wave data is available, we place lower bounds on the distance to the source in accordance with an optimistic assumption of gravitational-wave emission energy of $10^{-2}M_{\odot}c^2$ at 150 Hz, and find a median of 13 Mpc. For the 27 short-hard GRBs we place 90% confidence exclusion distances to two source models: a binary neutron star coalescence, with a median distance of 12Mpc, or the coalescence of a neutron star and black hole, with a median distance of 22 Mpc. Finally, we combine this search with previously published results to provide a population statement for GRB searches in first-generation LIGO and Virgo gravitational-wave detectors, and a resulting examination of prospects for the advanced gravitational-wave detectors.
    Physical Review Letters 06/2014; 113(1):011102. DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.011102 · 7.73 Impact Factor
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    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 gravitational-wave background models, the data display no evidence of a stochastic gravitational-wave signal. Assuming a gravitational-wave spectrum of Omega_GW(f)=Omega_alpha*(f/f_ref)^alpha, we place 95% confidence level upper limits on the energy density of the background in each of four frequency bands spanning 41.5-1726 Hz. In the frequency band of 41.5-169.25 Hz for a spectral index of alpha=0, we constrain the energy density of the stochastic background to be Omega_GW(f)<5.6x10^-6. For the 600-1000 Hz band, Omega_GW(f)<0.14*(f/900 Hz)^3, a factor of 2.5 lower than the best previously reported upper limits. We find Omega_GW(f)<1.8x10^-4 using a spectral index of zero for 170-600 Hz and Omega_GW(f)<1.0*(f/1300 Hz)^3 for 1000-1726 Hz, bands in which no previous direct limits have been placed. The limits in these four bands are the lowest direct measurements to date on the stochastic background. We discuss the implications of these results in light of the recent claim by the BICEP2 experiment of the detection of inflationary gravitational waves.
    Physical Review Letters 06/2014; 113(23). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.231101 · 7.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ion-beam sputtered amorphous heavy metal oxides, such as Ta2O5, are widely used as the high refractive index layer of highly reflective dielectric coatings. Such coatings are used in the ground based Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), in which mechanical loss, directly related to Brownian thermal noise, from the coatings forms an important limit to the sensitivity of the LIGO detector. It has previously been shown that heat-treatment and TiO2 doping of amorphous Ta2O5 coatings causes significant changes to the levels of mechanical loss measured and is thought to result from changes in the atomic structure. This work aims to find ways to reduce the levels of mechanical loss in the coatings by understanding the atomic structure properties that are responsible for it, and thus helping to increase the LIGO detector sensitivity. Using a combination of Reduced Density Functions (RDFs) from electron diffraction and Fluctuation Electron Microscopy (FEM), we probe the medium range order (in the 2-3 nm range) of these amorphous coatings.
    Journal of Physics Conference Series 06/2014; 522(1):012043. DOI:10.1088/1742-6596/522/1/012043
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    ABSTRACT: We present the first results of an all-sky search for continuous gravitational waves from unknown spinning neutron stars in binary systems using LIGO and Virgo data. Using a specially developed analysis program, the TwoSpect algorithm, the search was carried out on data from the sixth LIGO Science Run and the second and third Virgo Science Runs. The search covers a range of frequencies from 20 Hz to 520 Hz, a range of orbital periods from 2 to ~2,254 h and a frequency- and period-dependent range of frequency modulation depths from 0.277 to 100 mHz. This corresponds to a range of projected semi-major axes of the orbit from ~0.6e-3 ls to ~6,500 ls assuming the orbit of the binary is circular. While no plausible candidate gravitational wave events survive the pipeline, upper limits are set on the analyzed data. The most sensitive 95% confidence upper limit obtained on gravitational wave strain is 2.3e-24 at 217 Hz, assuming the source waves are circularly polarized. Although this search has been optimized for circular binary orbits, the upper limits obtained remain valid for orbital eccentricities as large as 0.9. In addition, upper limits are placed on continuous gravitational wave emission from the low-mass x-ray binary Scorpius X-1 between 20 Hz and 57.25 Hz.

Publication Stats

5k Citations
856.77 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
      Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 1970–2014
    • University of Glasgow
      • • School of Physics and Astronomy
      • • Division of Anatomy
      Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 2005–2011
    • California Institute of Technology
      • Department of Physics
      Pasadena, California, United States
  • 2005–2006
    • Cardiff University
      • School of Physics and Astronomy
      Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
  • 1999–2004
    • Stanford University
      • E. L. Ginzton Laboratory
      Palo Alto, California, United States
  • 2003
    • Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert-Einstein-Institute)
      Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany
  • 2001–2003
    • Syracuse University
      • Department of Physics
      Syracuse, New York, United States