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  1. ABSTRACT

    Owing to the forecasted improved sensitivity of ground-based gravitational-wave detectors, new research avenues will become accessible. This is the case for gravitational-wave strong lensing, predicted with a non-negligible observation rate in the coming years. However, because one needs to investigate all the event pairs in the data, searches for strongly lensed gravitational waves are often computationally heavy, and one faces high false-alarm rates. In this paper, we present upgrades made to the golum software, making it more reliable while increasing its speed by re-casting the look-up table, imposing a sample control, and implementing symmetric runs on the two lensed images. We show how the recovered posteriors have improved coverage of the parameter space and how we increase the pipeline’s stability. Finally, we show the results obtained by performing a joint analysis of all the events reported until the GWTC-3 catalogue, finding similar conclusions to the ones presented in the literature.

     
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  2. ABSTRACT

    Gravitational lensing describes the bending of the trajectories of light and gravitational waves due to the gravitational potential of a massive object. Strong lensing by galaxies can create multiple images with different overall amplifications, arrival times, and image types. If, furthermore, the gravitational wave encounters a star along its trajectory, microlensing will take place. Previously, it has been shown that the effects of microlenses on strongly-lensed type-I images could be negligible in practice, at least in the low magnification regime. In this work, we study the same effect on type-II strongly-lensed images by computing the microlensing amplification factor. As opposed to being magnified, type-II images are typically demagnified. Moreover, microlensing on top of type-II images induces larger mismatches with un-microlensed waveforms than type-I images. These results are broadly consistent with recent literature and serve to confirm the findings. In addition, we investigate the possibility of detecting and analysing microlensed signals through Bayesian parameter estimation with an isolated point mass lens template, which has been adopted in recent parameter estimation literature. In particular, we simulate gravitational waves microlensed by a microlens embedded in a galaxy potential near moderately magnified type-I and II macroimages, with variable lens masses, source parameters and macromagnifcations. Generally, an isolated point mass model could be used as an effective template to detect a type-II microlensed image but not for type-I images, demonstrating the necessity for more realistic microlensing search templates.

     
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  3. ABSTRACT

    Since the first detection of gravitational waves in 2015, gravitational-wave astronomy has emerged as a rapidly advancing field that holds great potential for studying the cosmos, from probing the properties of black holes to testing the limits of our current understanding of gravity. One important aspect of gravitational-wave astronomy is the phenomenon of gravitational lensing, where massive intervening objects can bend and magnify gravitational waves, providing a unique way to probe the distribution of matter in the Universe, as well as finding applications to fundamental physics, astrophysics, and cosmology. However, current models for gravitational-wave millilensing—a specific form of lensing where small-scale astrophysical objects can split a gravitational wave signal into multiple copies—are often limited to simple isolated lenses, which is not realistic for complex lensing scenarios. In this paper, we present a novel phenomenological approach to incorporate millilensing in data analysis in a model-independent fashion. Our approach enables the recovery of arbitrary lens configurations without the need for extensive computational lens modelling, making it a more accurate and computationally efficient tool for studying the distribution of matter in the Universe using gravitational-wave signals. When gravitational-wave lensing observations become possible, our method could provide a powerful tool for studying complex lens configurations in the future.

     
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