Publications (137)406.38 Total impact
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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.  [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. 
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.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We report on an allsky search for periodic gravitational waves in the frequency range 50–1000 Hz with the first derivative of frequency in the range −8.9 × 10−10 Hz s−1 to zero in two years of data collected during LIGO's fifth science run. Our results employ a Hough transform technique, introducing a χ2 test and analysis of coincidences between the signal levels in years 1 and 2 of observations that offers a significant improvement in the product of strain sensitivity with compute cycles per data sample compared to previously published searches. Since our search yields no surviving candidates, we present results taking the form of frequency dependent, 95% confidence upper limits on the strain amplitude h0. The most stringent upper limit from year 1 is 1.0 × 10−24 in the 158.00–158.25 Hz band. In year 2, the most stringent upper limit is 8.9 × 10−25 in the 146.50–146.75 Hz band. This improved detection pipeline, which is computationally efficient by at least two orders of magnitude better than our flagship Einstein@Home search, will be important for 'quicklook' searches in the Advanced LIGO and Virgo detector era. 

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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 $\sim 20\%\,$. 
Dataset: 122

Dataset: 13119

Dataset: 84 local APF20 617
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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 $5 \times 10^{24}$.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: During the LIGO and Virgo joint science runs in 20092010, gravitational wave (GW) data from three interferometer detectors were analyzed within minutes to select GW candidate events and infer their apparent sky positions. Target coordinates were transmitted to several telescopes for followup observations aimed at the detection of an associated optical transient. Images were obtained for eight such GW candidates. We present the methods used to analyze the image data as well as the transient search results. No optical transient was identified with a convincing association with any of these candidates, and none of the GW triggers showed strong evidence for being astrophysical in nature. We compare the sensitivities of these observations to several model light curves from possible sources of interest, and discuss prospects for future joint GWoptical observations of this type.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The Virgo detector is a kilometerscale interferometer for gravitational wave detection located near Pisa (Italy). About 13 months of data were accumulated during four science runs (VSR1, VSR2, VSR3 and VSR4) between May 2007 and September 2011, with increasing sensitivity. In this paper, the method used to reconstruct, in the range 10 Hz10 kHz, the gravitational wave strain time series $h(t)$ from the detector signals is described. The standard consistency checks of the reconstruction are discussed and used to estimate the systematic uncertainties of the $h(t)$ signal as a function of frequency. Finally, an independent setup, the photon calibrator, is described and used to validate the reconstructed $h(t)$ signal and the associated uncertainties. The uncertainties of the $h(t)$ time series are estimated to be 7.5% in amplitude. The uncertainty of the phase of $h(t)$ is 50 mrad at 10 Hz with a frequency dependence following a delay of 8 $\mu$s at high frequency.  [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]  [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.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
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.  [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.  [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.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In 2000, the requirements for a large TPC for experiments at a new linear collider were formulated. Both the GEM and Micromegas gas amplification systems had matured, such that they could be practically applied. With the Medipix chip, a pixelsegmented anode readout became possible, offering an unprecedented level of granularity and sensitivity. The single electron sensitive device is a digital detector capable to record and transfer all information of the primary ionization, provided that it can be made discharge proof.  [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Compact binary systems with neutron stars or black holes are one of the most promising sources for groundbased gravitational wave detectors. Gravitational radiation encodes rich information about source physics; thus parameter estimation and model selection are crucial analysis steps for any detection candidate events. Detailed models of the anticipated waveforms enable inference on several parameters, such as component masses, spins, sky location and distance that are essential for new astrophysical studies of these sources. However, accurate measurements of these parameters and discrimination of models describing the underlying physics are complicated by artifacts in the data, uncertainties in the waveform models and in the calibration of the detectors. Here we report such measurements on a selection of simulated signals added either in hardware or software to the data collected by the two LIGO instruments and the Virgo detector during their most recent joint science run, including a "blind injection" where the signal was not initially revealed to the collaboration. We exemplify the ability to extract information about the source physics on signals that cover the neutron star and black hole parameter space over the individual mass range 1 Msun  25 Msun and the full range of spin parameters. The cases reported in this study provide a snapshot of the status of parameter estimation in preparation for the operation of advanced detectors.
Publication Stats
2k  Citations  
406.38  Total Impact Points  
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Institutions

20062011

National Institute for Subatomic Physics
Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands


2010

University of Naples Federico II
 Department of Physical Sciences
Napoli, Campania, Italy


20082009

Università degli Studi di Perugia
 Department of Physics
Perugia, Umbria, Italy


20072008

VU University Amsterdam
Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands 
INFN  Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare
Frascati, Latium, Italy
