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  1. ABSTRACT The detection of the optical transient AT2017gfo proved that binary neutron star mergers are progenitors of kilonovae (KNe). Using a combination of numerical-relativity and radiative-transfer simulations, the community has developed sophisticated models for these transients for a wide portion of the expected parameter space. Using these simulations and surrogate models made from them, it has been possible to perform Bayesian inference of the observed signals to infer properties of the ejected matter. It has been pointed out that combining inclination constraints derived from the KN with gravitational-wave measurements increases the accuracy with which binary parameters can be estimated, inmore »particular breaking the distance-inclination degeneracy from gravitational wave inference. To avoid bias from the unknown ejecta geometry, constraints on the inclination angle for AT2017gfo should be insensitive to the employed models. In this work, we compare different assumptions about the ejecta and radiative reprocesses used by the community and we investigate their impact on the parameter inference. While most inferred parameters agree, we find disagreement between posteriors for the inclination angle for different geometries that have been used in the current literature. According to our study, the inclusion of reprocessing of the photons between different ejecta types improves the modeling fits to AT2017gfo and, in some cases, affects the inferred constraints. Our study motivates the inclusion of large ∼ 1-mag uncertainties in the KN models employed for Bayesian analysis to capture yet unknown systematics, especially when inferring inclination angles, although smaller uncertainties seem appropriate to capture model systematics for other intrinsic parameters. We can use this method to impose soft constraints on the ejecta geometry of the KN AT2017gfo.« less
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  4. Abstract We search for gravitational-wave signals associated with gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) detected by the Fermi and Swift satellites during the second half of the third observing run of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo (2019 November 1 15:00 UTC–2020 March 27 17:00 UTC). We conduct two independent searches: a generic gravitational-wave transients search to analyze 86 GRBs and an analysis to target binary mergers with at least one neutron star as short GRB progenitors for 17 events. We find no significant evidence for gravitational-wave signals associated with any of these GRBs. A weighted binomial test of the combined results finds nomore »evidence for subthreshold gravitational-wave signals associated with this GRB ensemble either. We use several source types and signal morphologies during the searches, resulting in lower bounds on the estimated distance to each GRB. Finally, we constrain the population of low-luminosity short GRBs using results from the first to the third observing runs of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo. The resulting population is in accordance with the local binary neutron star merger rate.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  6. Intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) span the approximate mass range 100−10 5   M ⊙ , between black holes (BHs) that formed by stellar collapse and the supermassive BHs at the centers of galaxies. Mergers of IMBH binaries are the most energetic gravitational-wave sources accessible by the terrestrial detector network. Searches of the first two observing runs of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo did not yield any significant IMBH binary signals. In the third observing run (O3), the increased network sensitivity enabled the detection of GW190521, a signal consistent with a binary merger of mass ∼150  M ⊙ providing direct evidencemore »of IMBH formation. Here, we report on a dedicated search of O3 data for further IMBH binary mergers, combining both modeled (matched filter) and model-independent search methods. We find some marginal candidates, but none are sufficiently significant to indicate detection of further IMBH mergers. We quantify the sensitivity of the individual search methods and of the combined search using a suite of IMBH binary signals obtained via numerical relativity, including the effects of spins misaligned with the binary orbital axis, and present the resulting upper limits on astrophysical merger rates. Our most stringent limit is for equal mass and aligned spin BH binary of total mass 200  M ⊙ and effective aligned spin 0.8 at 0.056 Gpc −3 yr −1 (90% confidence), a factor of 3.5 more constraining than previous LIGO-Virgo limits. We also update the estimated rate of mergers similar to GW190521 to 0.08 Gpc −3 yr −1 .« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  8. Abstract We search for signatures of gravitational lensing in the gravitational-wave signals from compact binary coalescences detected by Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) and Advanced Virgo during O3a, the first half of their third observing run. We study: (1) the expected rate of lensing at current detector sensitivity and the implications of a non-observation of strong lensing or a stochastic gravitational-wave background on the merger-rate density at high redshift; (2) how the interpretation of individual high-mass events would change if they were found to be lensed; (3) the possibility of multiple images due to strong lensing by galaxies ormore »galaxy clusters; and (4) possible wave-optics effects due to point-mass microlenses. Several pairs of signals in the multiple-image analysis show similar parameters and, in this sense, are nominally consistent with the strong lensing hypothesis. However, taking into account population priors, selection effects, and the prior odds against lensing, these events do not provide sufficient evidence for lensing. Overall, we find no compelling evidence for lensing in the observed gravitational-wave signals from any of these analyses.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  9. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  10. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2022