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Title: Impact of a midband gravitational wave experiment on detectability of cosmological stochastic gravitational wave backgrounds
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Physical Review D
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Gravitational-wave memory effects arise from nonoscillatory components of gravitational-wave signals, and they are predictions of general relativity in the nonlinear regime that have close connections to the asymptotic properties of isolated gravitating systems. There are many types of memory effects that have been studied in the literature. In this paper we focus on the “displacement” and “spin” memories, which are expected to be the largest of these effects from sources such as the binary black hole mergers which have already been detected by LIGO and Virgo. The displacement memory is a change in the relative separation of two initially comoving observers due to a burst of gravitational waves, whereas the spin memory is a portion of the change in relative separation of observers with initial relative velocity. As both of these effects are small, LIGO, Virgo, and KAGRA can only detect memory effects from individual events that are much louder (and thus rarer) than those that have been detected so far. By combining data from multiple events, however, these effects could be detected in a population of binary mergers. In this paper, we present new forecasts for how long current and future detectors will need to operate in order to measure these effects from populations of binary black hole systems that are consistent with the populations inferred from the detections from LIGO and Virgo’s first three observing runs. We find that a second-generation detector network of LIGO, Virgo, and KAGRA operating at the O4 (“design”) sensitivity for 1.5 years and then operating at the O5 (“plus”) sensitivity for an additional 1.5 years can detect the displacement memory. For Cosmic Explorer, we find that displacement memory could be detected for individual loud events, and that the spin memory could be detected in a population after 5 years of observation time. 
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