The NANOGrav Nine-Year Data Set: Limits On the Isotropic Stochastic Gravitational Wave Background

Title:
The NANOGrav Nine-Year Data Set: Limits On the Isotropic Stochastic Gravitational Wave Background
Authors:
Arzoumanian, Zaven; Brazier, Adam; Burke-Spolaor, Sarah; Chamberlin, Sydney J.; Chatterjee, Shami; Christy, Brian; Cordes, James M. ( 0000-0002-4049-1882 ) ; Cornish, Neil J. ( 0000-0002-7435-0869 ) ; Crowter, Kathryn; Demorest, Paul B.; Deng, X.; Dolch, Timothy ( 0000-0001-8885-6388 ) ; Ellis, Justin A.; Ferdman, Robert D. ( 0000-0002-2223-1235 ) ; Fonseca, Emmanuel; Garver-Daniels, Nathan; Gonzalez, Marjorie E.; Jenet, Fredrick A.; Jones, Glenn; Jones, Megan L. ( 0000-0001-6607-3710 ) ; Kaspi, Victoria M. ( 0000-0001-9345-0307 ) ; Koop, Michael; Lam, Michael T.; Lazio, T. Joseph W.; Levin, Lina ( 0000-0002-2034-2986 ) ; Lommen, Andrea N.; Lorimer, Duncan R.; Luo, Jing; Lynch, Ryan S.; Madison, Dustin R.; McLaughlin, Maura A. ( 0000-0001-7697-7422 ) ; McWilliams, Sean T. ( 0000-0003-2397-8290 ) ; Mingarelli, Chiara M. F. ( 0000-0002-4307-1322 ) ; Nice, David J. ( 0000-0002-6709-2566 ) ; Palliyaguru, Nipuni ( 0000-0002-4828-0262 ) ; Pennucci, Timothy T. ( 0000-0001-5465-2889 ) ; Ransom, Scott M. ( 0000-0001-5799-9714 ) ; Sampson, L.; Sanidas, S. A.; Sesana, Alberto; Siemens, Xavier; Simon, Joseph ( 0000-0003-1407-6607 ) ; Stairs, Ingrid H. ( 0000-0001-9784-8670 ) ; Stinebring, Daniel R.; Stovall, Kevin ( 0000-0002-7261-594X ) ; Swiggum, Joseph K. ( 0000-0002-1075-3837 ) ; Taylor, Stephen R. ( 0000-0003-0264-1453 ) ; Vallisneri, Michele ( 0000-0002-4162-0033 ) ; Haasteren, R. van; Wang, Yan ( 0000-0001-8990-5700 ) ; Zhu, Weiwei
Abstract:
We compute upper limits on the nanohertz-frequency isotropic stochastic gravitational wave background (GWB) using the 9 year data set from the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) collaboration. Well-tested Bayesian techniques are used to set upper limits on the dimensionless strain amplitude (at a frequency of 1 yr−1) for a GWB from supermassive black hole binaries of Agw<1.5 x 10-15. We also parameterize the GWB spectrum with a broken power-law model by placing priors on the strain amplitude derived from simulations of Sesana and McWilliams et al. Using Bayesian model selection we find that the data favor a broken power law to a pure power law with odds ratios of 2.2 and 22 to one for the Sesana and McWilliams prior models, respectively. Using the broken power-law analysis we construct posterior distributions on environmental factors that drive the binary to the GW-driven regime including the stellar mass density for stellar-scattering, mass accretion rate for circumbinary disk interaction, and orbital eccentricity for eccentric binaries, marking the first time that the shape of the GWB spectrum has been used to make astrophysical inferences. Returning to a power-law model, we place stringent limits on the energy density of relic GWs, (omega)gw(f)h2<4.2 x 10-10. Our limit on the cosmic string GWB, (omega)gw(f)h2<2.2 x 10-10, translates to a conservative limit on the cosmic string tension with Gmu<3.3 x 10-8, a factor of four better than the joint Planck and high-l cosmic microwave background data from other experiments.
Citation:
Arzoumanian, Z., A. Brazier, S. Burke-Spolaor, et al. 2016. "The NANOGrav Nine-Year Data Set: Limits On the Isotropic Stochastic Gravitational Wave Background." The Astrophysical Journal 821(1): 1-23.
Publisher:
American Astronomical Society
DATE ISSUED:
2016-04-04
Department:
Physics and Astronomy
Type:
Article
PUBLISHED VERSION:
10.3847/0004-637X/821/1/13
Additional Links:
http://stacks.iop.org/0004-637X/821/i=1/a=13?key=crossref.d37d060fd35b5394bed01cb4566360a6
PERMANENT LINK:
http://hdl.handle.net/11282/617250

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorArzoumanian, Zavenen
dc.contributor.authorBrazier, Adamen
dc.contributor.authorBurke-Spolaor, Sarahen
dc.contributor.authorChamberlin, Sydney J.en
dc.contributor.authorChatterjee, Shamien
dc.contributor.authorChristy, Brianen
dc.contributor.authorCordes, James M.en
dc.contributor.authorCornish, Neil J.en
dc.contributor.authorCrowter, Kathrynen
dc.contributor.authorDemorest, Paul B.en
dc.contributor.authorDeng, X.en
dc.contributor.authorDolch, Timothyen
dc.contributor.authorEllis, Justin A.en
dc.contributor.authorFerdman, Robert D.en
dc.contributor.authorFonseca, Emmanuelen
dc.contributor.authorGarver-Daniels, Nathanen
dc.contributor.authorGonzalez, Marjorie E.en
dc.contributor.authorJenet, Fredrick A.en
dc.contributor.authorJones, Glennen
dc.contributor.authorJones, Megan L.en
dc.contributor.authorKaspi, Victoria M.en
dc.contributor.authorKoop, Michaelen
dc.contributor.authorLam, Michael T.en
dc.contributor.authorLazio, T. Joseph W.en
dc.contributor.authorLevin, Linaen
dc.contributor.authorLommen, Andrea N.en
dc.contributor.authorLorimer, Duncan R.en
dc.contributor.authorLuo, Jingen
dc.contributor.authorLynch, Ryan S.en
dc.contributor.authorMadison, Dustin R.en
dc.contributor.authorMcLaughlin, Maura A.en
dc.contributor.authorMcWilliams, Sean T.en
dc.contributor.authorMingarelli, Chiara M. F.en
dc.contributor.authorNice, David J.en
dc.contributor.authorPalliyaguru, Nipunien
dc.contributor.authorPennucci, Timothy T.en
dc.contributor.authorRansom, Scott M.en
dc.contributor.authorSampson, L.en
dc.contributor.authorSanidas, S. A.en
dc.contributor.authorSesana, Albertoen
dc.contributor.authorSiemens, Xavieren
dc.contributor.authorSimon, Josephen
dc.contributor.authorStairs, Ingrid H.en
dc.contributor.authorStinebring, Daniel R.en
dc.contributor.authorStovall, Kevinen
dc.contributor.authorSwiggum, Joseph K.en
dc.contributor.authorTaylor, Stephen R.en
dc.contributor.authorVallisneri, Micheleen
dc.contributor.authorHaasteren, R. vanen
dc.contributor.authorWang, Yanen
dc.contributor.authorZhu, Weiweien
dc.date.accessioned2016-07-19T18:16:30Z-
dc.date.available2016-07-19T18:16:30Z-
dc.date.issued2016-04-04-
dc.identifier.citationArzoumanian, Z., A. Brazier, S. Burke-Spolaor, et al. 2016. "The NANOGrav Nine-Year Data Set: Limits On the Isotropic Stochastic Gravitational Wave Background." The Astrophysical Journal 821(1): 1-23.en
dc.identifier.issn0004-637X-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11282/617250-
dc.description.abstractWe compute upper limits on the nanohertz-frequency isotropic stochastic gravitational wave background (GWB) using the 9 year data set from the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) collaboration. Well-tested Bayesian techniques are used to set upper limits on the dimensionless strain amplitude (at a frequency of 1 yr−1) for a GWB from supermassive black hole binaries of Agw<1.5 x 10-15. We also parameterize the GWB spectrum with a broken power-law model by placing priors on the strain amplitude derived from simulations of Sesana and McWilliams et al. Using Bayesian model selection we find that the data favor a broken power law to a pure power law with odds ratios of 2.2 and 22 to one for the Sesana and McWilliams prior models, respectively. Using the broken power-law analysis we construct posterior distributions on environmental factors that drive the binary to the GW-driven regime including the stellar mass density for stellar-scattering, mass accretion rate for circumbinary disk interaction, and orbital eccentricity for eccentric binaries, marking the first time that the shape of the GWB spectrum has been used to make astrophysical inferences. Returning to a power-law model, we place stringent limits on the energy density of relic GWs, (omega)gw(f)h2<4.2 x 10-10. Our limit on the cosmic string GWB, (omega)gw(f)h2<2.2 x 10-10, translates to a conservative limit on the cosmic string tension with Gmu<3.3 x 10-8, a factor of four better than the joint Planck and high-l cosmic microwave background data from other experiments.en
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.publisherAmerican Astronomical Societyen
dc.identifier.doi10.3847/0004-637X/821/1/13-
dc.relation.urlhttp://stacks.iop.org/0004-637X/821/i=1/a=13?key=crossref.d37d060fd35b5394bed01cb4566360a6en
dc.subject.departmentPhysics and Astronomyen_US
dc.titleThe NANOGrav Nine-Year Data Set: Limits On the Isotropic Stochastic Gravitational Wave Backgrounden_US
dc.typeArticleen
dc.identifier.journalThe Astrophysical Journalen
dc.identifier.volume821en_US
dc.identifier.issue1en_US
dc.identifier.startpage1en_US
dc.rightsArchived with thanks to The Astrophysical Journalen
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