Einstein@Home search for periodic gravitational waves in LIGO S4 data

B. Abbott, N.A. Lockerbie, K. V. Tokmakov, LIGO Scientific Collaboration

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Abstract

A search for periodic gravitational waves, from sources such as isolated rapidly spinning neutron stars, was carried out using 510 h of data from the fourth LIGO science run (S4). The search was for quasimonochromatic waves in the frequency range from 50 to 1500 Hz, with a linear frequency drift f˙ (measured at the solar system barycenter) in the range -f/τ<f˙<0.1f/τ, where the minimum spin-down age τ was 1000 yr for signals below 300 Hz and 10 000 yr above 300 Hz. The main computational work of the search was distributed over approximately 100 000 computers volunteered by the general public. This large computing power allowed the use of a relatively long coherent integration time of 30 h, despite the large parameter space searched. No statistically significant signals were found. The sensitivity of the search is estimated, along with the fraction of parameter space that was vetoed because of contamination by instrumental artifacts. In the 100 to 200 Hz band, more than 90% of sources with dimensionless gravitational-wave strain amplitude greater than 10-23 would have been detected.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages29
JournalPhysical Review D: Particles and Fields
Volume79
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

Keywords

  • gravitational wave detectors
  • periodic gravitational waves
  • neutron stars
  • quasimonochromatic waves

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