On September 14, 2015 at 09:50:45 UTC the two detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory simultaneously observed a transient gravitational-wave signal. The signal sweeps upwards in frequency from 35 to 250 Hz with a peak gravitational-wave strain of 1.0 × 10 −21 . It matches the waveform predicted by general relativity for the inspiral and merger of a pair of black holes and the ringdown of the resulting single black hole. The signal 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 5.1σ. The source lies at a luminosity distance of 410 These observations demonstrate the existence of binary stellar-mass black hole systems. This is the first direct detection of gravitational waves and the first observation of a binary black hole merger.
Gravitationswellen -ein leichtes Zittern der raumzeitVor 1,3 Milliarden Jahren: Seit langer Zeit schon haben sich in einer fernen Galaxie zwei schwarze Löcher umkreist, Gebilde von so ungeheurer Dichte, das selbst Licht ihrer Schwerkraft nicht mehr entweichen kann und von ihnen eingefangen wird. Seit Jahrmillionen haben sie bei ihrem Tanz umeinander mit ihrer masse die Raumzeit verformt und dabei Gravitationswellen abgestrahlt. ihr Abstand wurde dabei immer kleiner, ihre Geschwindigkeit immer höher, bis sie schließlich unter einem gewaltigen Ausbruch von Gravitationswellen zu einem einzelnen schwarzen Loch verschmelzen. Später werden wir diese Wellen GW150914 nennen. Für einen kurzen Augenblick wird durch sie mehr Leistung abgestrahlt als von allen Sternen im gesamten sichtbaren Universum in Form von elektromagnetischer Strahlung zusammen. Diese Gravitationswellen rasen mit Lichtgeschwindigkeit durch das Weltall und lassen auf ihrem Weg die Raumzeit erzittern.25. November 1915: GW150914 ist schon längst in unserer milchstra-
Many physically motivated extensions to general relativity (GR) predict substantial deviations in the properties of spacetime surrounding massive neutron stars. We report the measurement of a 2.01 ± 0.04 solar mass (M⊙) pulsar in a 2.46-hour orbit with a 0.172 ± 0.003 M⊙ white dwarf. The high pulsar mass and the compact orbit make this system a sensitive laboratory of a previously untested strong-field gravity regime. Thus far, the observed orbital decay agrees with GR, supporting its validity even for the extreme conditions present in the system. The resulting constraints on deviations support the use of GR-based templates for ground-based gravitational wave detectors. Additionally, the system strengthens recent constraints on the properties of dense matter and provides insight to binary stellar astrophysics and pulsar recycling.
We present the results from three gravitational-wave searches for coalescing compact binaries with component masses above 1 M ⊙ during the first and second observing runs of the advanced gravitationalwave detector network. During the first observing run (O1), from September 12, 2015 to January 19, 2016, gravitational waves from three binary black hole mergers were detected. The second observing run (O2), which ran from November 30, 2016 to August 25, 2017, saw the first detection of gravitational waves from a binary neutron star inspiral, in addition to the observation of gravitational waves from a total of seven binary black hole mergers, four of which we report here for the first time: GW170729, GW170809, GW170818, and GW170823. For all significant gravitational-wave events, we provide estimates of the source properties. The detected binary black holes have total masses between 18.6 þ3.2 −0.7 M ⊙ and 84.4 þ15.8 −11.1 M ⊙ and range in distance between 320 þ120 −110 and 2840 þ1400 −1360 Mpc. No neutron star-black hole mergers were detected. In addition to highly significant gravitational-wave events, we also provide a list of marginal event candidates with an estimated false-alarm rate less than 1 per 30 days. From these results over the first two observing runs, which include approximately one gravitational-wave detection per 15 days of data searched, we infer merger rates at the 90% confidence intervals of 110 − 3840 Gpc −3 y −1 for binary neutron stars and 9.7 − 101 Gpc −3 y −1 for binary black holes assuming fixed population distributions and determine a neutron star-black hole merger rate 90% upper limit of 610 Gpc −3 y −1 .
We report the observation of a gravitational-wave signal produced by the coalescence of two stellar-mass black holes. The signal, GW151226, was observed by the twin detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) on December 26, 2015 at 03:38:53 UTC. The signal was initially identified within 70 s by an online matched-filter search targeting binary coalescences. Subsequent off-line analyses recovered GW151226 with a network signal-to-noise ratio of 13 and a significance greater than 5σ. The signal persisted in the LIGO frequency band for approximately 1 s, increasing in frequency and amplitude over about 55 cycles from 35 to 450 Hz, and reached a peak gravitational strain of 3.4 −0.04 . All uncertainties define a 90% credible interval. This second gravitational-wave observation provides improved constraints on stellar populations and on deviations from general relativity.
On 2017 August 17 a binary neutron star coalescence candidate (later designated GW170817) with merger time 12:41:04 UTC was observed through gravitational waves by the Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo detectors. The Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor independently detected a gamma-ray burst (GRB 170817A) with a time delay of ∼ 1.7 s with respect to the merger time. From the gravitational-wave signal, the source was initially localized to a sky region of 31 deg2 at a luminosity distance of 40 − 8 + 8 Mpc and with component masses consistent with neutron stars. The component masses were later measured to be in the range 0.86 to 2.26 M ⊙ . An extensive observing campaign was launched across the electromagnetic spectrum leading to the discovery of a bright optical transient (SSS17a, now with the IAU identification of AT 2017gfo) in NGC 4993 (at ∼ 40 Mpc ) less than 11 hours after the merger by the One-Meter, Two Hemisphere (1M2H) team using the 1 m Swope Telescope. The optical transient was independently detected by multiple teams within an hour. Subsequent observations targeted the object and its environment. Early ultraviolet observations revealed a blue transient that faded within 48 hours. Optical and infrared observations showed a redward evolution over ∼10 days. Following early non-detections, X-ray and radio emission were discovered at the transient’s position ∼ 9 and ∼ 16 days, respectively, after the merger. Both the X-ray and radio emission likely arise from a physical process that is distinct from the one that generates the UV/optical/near-infrared emission. No ultra-high-energy gamma-rays and no neutrino candidates consistent with the source were found in follow-up searches. These observations support the hypothesis that GW170817 was produced by the merger of two neutron stars in NGC 4993 followed by a short gamma-ray burst (GRB 170817A) and a kilonova/macronova powered by the radioactive decay of r-process nuclei synthesized in the ejecta.
On 2017 August 17, the gravitational-wave event GW170817 was observed by the Advanced LIGO and Virgo detectors, and the gamma-ray burst (GRB) GRB170817A was observed independently by the Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor, and the Anti-Coincidence Shield for the Spectrometer for the International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory. The probability of the near-simultaneous temporal and spatial observation of GRB170817A and GW170817 occurring by chance is 5.0 10 8 -. We therefore confirm binary neutron star mergers as a progenitor of short GRBs. The association of GW170817 and GRB170817A provides new insight into fundamental physics and the origin of short GRBs. We use the observed time delay of 1.74 0.05 s + () between GRB170817A and GW170817 to: (i) constrain the difference between the speed of gravity and the speed of light to be between 3 10 15 -´and 7 10 16 +´times the speed of light, (ii) place new bounds on the violation of Lorentz invariance, (iii) present a new test of the equivalence principle by constraining the Shapiro delay between gravitational and electromagnetic radiation. We also use the time delay to constrain the size and bulk Lorentz factor of the region emitting the gamma-rays. GRB170817A is the closest short GRB with a known distance, but is between 2 and 6 orders of magnitude less energetic than other bursts with measured redshift. A new generation of gamma-ray detectors, and subthreshold searches in existing detectors, will be essential to detect similar short bursts at greater distances. Finally, we predict a joint detection rate for the Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor and the Advanced LIGO and Virgo detectors of 0.1-1.4 per year during the 2018-2019 observing run and 0.3-1.7 per year at design sensitivity.
The Advanced LIGO gravitational wave detectors are second generation instruments designed and built for the two LIGO observatories in Hanford, WA and Livingston, LA. 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 highfrequencies. Data collecting runs with these new instruments are planned to begin in mid-2015.
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