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  1. In this Perspective, we summarize the status of technological development for large-area and low-noise substrate-transferred GaAs/AlGaAs (AlGaAs) crystalline coatings for interferometric gravitational-wave (GW) detectors. These topics were originally presented as part of an AlGaAs Workshop held at American University, Washington, DC, from 15 August to 17 August 2022, bringing together members of the GW community from the laser interferometer gravitational-wave observatory (LIGO), Virgo, and KAGRA collaborations, along with scientists from the precision optical metrology community, and industry partners with extensive expertise in the manufacturing of said coatings. AlGaAs-based crystalline coatings present the possibility of GW observatories having significantly greater range than current systems employing ion-beam sputtered mirrors. Given the low thermal noise of AlGaAs at room temperature, GW detectors could realize these significant sensitivity gains while potentially avoiding cryogenic operation. However, the development of large-area AlGaAs coatings presents unique challenges. Herein, we describe recent research and development efforts relevant to crystalline coatings, covering characterization efforts on novel noise processes as well as optical metrology on large-area (∼10 cm diameter) mirrors. We further explore options to expand the maximum coating diameter to 20 cm and beyond, forging a path to produce low-noise mirrors amenable to future GW detector upgrades, while noting the unique requirements and prospective experimental testbeds for these semiconductor-based coatings. 
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  2. Abstract We report on the development and extensive characterization of co-sputtered tantala–zirconia (Ta 2 O 5 -ZrO 2 ) thin films, with the goal to decrease coating Brownian noise in present and future gravitational-wave detectors. We tested a variety of sputtering processes of different energies and deposition rates, and we considered the effect of different values of cation ratio η = Zr/(Zr + Ta) and of post-deposition heat treatment temperature T a on the optical and mechanical properties of the films. Co-sputtered zirconia proved to be an efficient way to frustrate crystallization in tantala thin films, allowing for a substantial increase of the maximum annealing temperature and hence for a decrease of coating mechanical loss φ c . The lowest average coating loss was observed for an ion-beam sputtered sample with η = 0.485 ± 0.004 annealed at 800 °C, yielding φ ¯ c = 1.8 × 1 0 − 4 rad. All coating samples showed cracks after annealing. Although in principle our measurements are sensitive to such defects, we found no evidence that our results were affected. The issue could be solved, at least for ion-beam sputtered coatings, by decreasing heating and cooling rates down to 7 °C h −1 . While we observed as little optical absorption as in the coatings of current gravitational-wave interferometers (0.5 parts per million), further development will be needed to decrease light scattering and avoid the formation of defects upon annealing. 
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  3. Abstract

    We present Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (Fermi-GBM) and Swift Burst Alert Telescope (Swift-BAT) searches for gamma-ray/X-ray counterparts to gravitational-wave (GW) candidate events identified during the third observing run of the Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo detectors. Using Fermi-GBM onboard triggers and subthreshold gamma-ray burst (GRB) candidates found in the Fermi-GBM ground analyses, the Targeted Search and the Untargeted Search, we investigate whether there are any coincident GRBs associated with the GWs. We also search the Swift-BAT rate data around the GW times to determine whether a GRB counterpart is present. No counterparts are found. Using both the Fermi-GBM Targeted Search and the Swift-BAT search, we calculate flux upper limits and present joint upper limits on the gamma-ray luminosity of each GW. Given these limits, we constrain theoretical models for the emission of gamma rays from binary black hole mergers.

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  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2025
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  6. Abstract

    We search for gravitational-wave (GW) transients associated with fast radio bursts (FRBs) detected by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment Fast Radio Burst Project, during the first part of the third observing run of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo (2019 April 1 15:00 UTC–2019 October 1 15:00 UTC). Triggers from 22 FRBs were analyzed with a search that targets both binary neutron star (BNS) and neutron star–black hole (NSBH) mergers. A targeted search for generic GW transients was conducted on 40 FRBs. We find no significant evidence for a GW association in either search. Given the large uncertainties in the distances of our FRB sample, we are unable to exclude the possibility of a GW association. Assessing the volumetric event rates of both FRB and binary mergers, an association is limited to 15% of the FRB population for BNS mergers or 1% for NSBH mergers. We report 90% confidence lower bounds on the distance to each FRB for a range of GW progenitor models and set upper limits on the energy emitted through GWs for a range of emission scenarios. We find values of order 1051–1057erg for models with central GW frequencies in the range 70–3560 Hz. At the sensitivity of this search, we find these limits to be above the predicted GW emissions for the models considered. We also find no significant coincident detection of GWs with the repeater, FRB 20200120E, which is the closest known extragalactic FRB.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 28, 2024
  7. Abstract The global network of gravitational-wave observatories now includes five detectors, namely LIGO Hanford, LIGO Livingston, Virgo, KAGRA, and GEO 600. These detectors collected data during their third observing run, O3, composed of three phases: O3a starting in 2019 April and lasting six months, O3b starting in 2019 November and lasting five months, and O3GK starting in 2020 April and lasting two weeks. In this paper we describe these data and various other science products that can be freely accessed through the Gravitational Wave Open Science Center at . The main data set, consisting of the gravitational-wave strain time series that contains the astrophysical signals, is released together with supporting data useful for their analysis and documentation, tutorials, as well as analysis software packages. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 28, 2024
  8. Abstract We use 47 gravitational wave sources from the Third LIGO–Virgo–Kamioka Gravitational Wave Detector Gravitational Wave Transient Catalog (GWTC–3) to estimate the Hubble parameter H ( z ), including its current value, the Hubble constant H 0 . Each gravitational wave (GW) signal provides the luminosity distance to the source, and we estimate the corresponding redshift using two methods: the redshifted masses and a galaxy catalog. Using the binary black hole (BBH) redshifted masses, we simultaneously infer the source mass distribution and H ( z ). The source mass distribution displays a peak around 34 M ⊙ , followed by a drop-off. Assuming this mass scale does not evolve with the redshift results in a H ( z ) measurement, yielding H 0 = 68 − 8 + 12 km s − 1 Mpc − 1 (68% credible interval) when combined with the H 0 measurement from GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart. This represents an improvement of 17% with respect to the H 0 estimate from GWTC–1. The second method associates each GW event with its probable host galaxy in the catalog GLADE+ , statistically marginalizing over the redshifts of each event’s potential hosts. Assuming a fixed BBH population, we estimate a value of H 0 = 68 − 6 + 8 km s − 1 Mpc − 1 with the galaxy catalog method, an improvement of 42% with respect to our GWTC–1 result and 20% with respect to recent H 0 studies using GWTC–2 events. However, we show that this result is strongly impacted by assumptions about the BBH source mass distribution; the only event which is not strongly impacted by such assumptions (and is thus informative about H 0 ) is the well-localized event GW190814. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024