First LIGO search for gravitational wave bursts from cosmic(super)strings

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

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We report on a matched-filter search for gravitational wave bursts from cosmic string cusps using LIGO data from the fourth science run (S4) which took place in February and March 2005. No gravitational waves were detected in 14.9 days of data from times when all three LIGO detectors were operating. We interpret the result in terms of a frequentist upper limit on the rate of gravitational wave bursts and use the limits on the rate to constrain the parameter space (string tension, reconnection probability, and loop sizes) of cosmic string models. Many grand unified theory-scale models (with string tension Gμ/c2≈10-6) can be ruled out at 90% confidence for reconnection probabilities p≤10-3 if loop sizes are set by gravitational back reaction.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Review D: Particles and Fields
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sep 2009


  • extended classical solutions
  • cosmic strings
  • domain walls
  • texture
  • strings and branes
  • particle-theory
  • field-theory
  • models of the early universe


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