skip to main content


Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "James, C. W."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. ABSTRACT

    Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are transient radio signals of extragalactic origins that are subjected to propagation effects such as dispersion and scattering. It follows then that these signals hold information regarding the medium they have traversed and are hence useful as cosmological probes of the Universe. Recently, FRBs were used to make an independent measure of the Hubble constant H0, promising to resolve the Hubble tension given a sufficient number of detected FRBs. Such cosmological studies are dependent on FRB population statistics, cosmological parameters, and detection biases, and thus it is important to accurately characterize each of these. In this work, we empirically characterize the sensitivity of the Fast Real-time Engine for Dedispersing Amplitudes (FREDDA) which is the current detection system for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP). We coherently redisperse high-time resolution data of 13 ASKAP-detected FRBs and inject them into FREDDA to determine the recovered signal-to-noise ratios as a function of dispersion measure. We find that for 11 of the 13 FRBs, these results are consistent with injecting idealized pulses. Approximating this sensitivity function with theoretical predictions results in a systematic error of 0.3 km s−1 Mpc−1 on H0 when it is the only free parameter. Allowing additional parameters to vary could increase this systematic by up to $\sim 1\,$ km s−1 Mpc−1. We estimate that this systematic will not be relevant until ∼400 localized FRBs have been detected, but will likely be significant in resolving the Hubble tension.

     
    more » « less
  2. ABSTRACT We develop a sophisticated model of fast radio burst (FRB) observations, accounting for the intrinsic cosmological gas distribution and host galaxy contributions, and give the most detailed account yet of observational biases due to burst width, dispersion measure, and the exact telescope beamshape. Our results offer a significant increase in both accuracy and precision beyond those previously obtained. Using results from ASKAP and Parkes, we present our best-fitting FRB population parameters in a companion paper. Here, we consider in detail the expected and fitted distributions in redshift, dispersion measure, and signal to noise. We estimate that the unlocalized ASKAP FRBs arise from z < 0.5, with between a third and a half within z < 0.1. Our predicted source-counts (‘logN–logS’) distribution confirms previous indications of a steepening index near the Parkes detection threshold of 1 Jy ms. We find no evidence for a minimum FRB energy, and rule out Emin > 1039.0 erg at 90 per cent C.L. Importantly, we find that above a certain DM, observational biases cause the Macquart (DM–z) relation to become inverted, implying that the highest-DM events detected in the unlocalized Parkes and ASKAP samples are unlikely to be the most distant. More localized FRBs will be required to quantitatively estimate this effect, though its cause is a well-understood observational bias. Works assuming a 1–1 DM–z relation may therefore derive erroneous results. Our analysis of errors suggests that limiting factors in our analysis are understanding of FRB spectral behaviour, sensitivity response of search experiments, and the treatment of the repeating population and luminosity function. 
    more » « less
  3. ABSTRACT Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are extremely powerful sources of radio waves observed at cosmological distances. We use a sophisticated model of FRB observations – presented in detail in a companion paper – to fit FRB population parameters using large samples of FRBs detected by ASKAP and Parkes, including seven sources with confirmed host galaxies. Our fitted parameters demonstrate that the FRB population evolves with redshift in a manner consistent with, or faster than, the star formation rate (SFR), ruling out a non-evolving population at better than 98 per cent CL (depending on modelling uncertainties). Our estimated maximum FRB energy is $\log _{10} E_{\rm max} [{\rm erg}] = 41.70_{-0.06}^{+0.53}$ (68 per cent CL) assuming a 1 GHz emission bandwidth, with slope of the cumulative luminosity distribution $\gamma =-1.09_{-0.10}^{+0.14}$. We find a log-mean host DM contribution of $129_{-48}^{+66}$ pc cm−3 on top of a typical local (interstellar medium and halo) contribution of ∼80 pc cm−3, which is higher than most literature values. These results are insensitive to assumptions of the FRB spectral index, and are consistent with the model of FRBs arising as the high-energy limit of magnetar bursts, but allow for FRB progenitors that evolve faster than the SFR. 
    more » « less
  4. ABSTRACT

    We constrain the Hubble constant H0 using Fast Radio Burst (FRB) observations from the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) and Murriyang (Parkes) radio telescopes. We use the redshift-dispersion measure (‘Macquart’) relationship, accounting for the intrinsic luminosity function, cosmological gas distribution, population evolution, host galaxy contributions to the dispersion measure (DMhost), and observational biases due to burst duration and telescope beamshape. Using an updated sample of 16 ASKAP FRBs detected by the Commensal Real-time ASKAP Fast Transients (CRAFT) Survey and localized to their host galaxies, and 60 unlocalized FRBs from Parkes and ASKAP, our best-fitting value of H0 is calculated to be $73_{-8}^{+12}$ km s−1 Mpc−1. Uncertainties in FRB energetics and DMhost produce larger uncertainties in the inferred value of H0 compared to previous FRB-based estimates. Using a prior on H0 covering the 67–74 km s−1 Mpc−1 range, we estimate a median ${\rm DM}_{\rm host}= 186_{-48}^{+59}\,{\rm pc \, cm^{-3}}$, exceeding previous estimates. We confirm that the FRB population evolves with redshift similarly to the star-formation rate. We use a Schechter luminosity function to constrain the maximum FRB energy to be log10Emax$=41.26_{-0.22}^{+0.27}$ erg assuming a characteristic FRB emission bandwidth of 1 GHz at 1.3 GHz, and the cumulative luminosity index to be $\gamma =-0.95_{-0.15}^{+0.18}$. We demonstrate with a sample of 100 mock FRBs that H0 can be measured with an uncertainty of ±2.5 km s−1 Mpc−1, demonstrating the potential for clarifying the Hubble tension with an upgraded ASKAP FRB search system. Last, we explore a range of sample and selection biases that affect FRB analyses.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract In the quest for high-energy neutrino sources, the Astrophysical Multimessenger Observatory Network has implemented a new search by combining data from the High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Observatory and the Astronomy with a Neutrino Telescope and Abyss environmental RESearch (ANTARES) neutrino telescope. Using the same analysis strategy as in a previous detector combination of HAWC and IceCube data, we perform a search for coincidences in HAWC and ANTARES events that are below the threshold for sending public alerts in each individual detector. Data were collected between 2015 July and 2020 February with a live time of 4.39 yr. Over this time period, three coincident events with an estimated false-alarm rate of <1 coincidence per year were found. This number is consistent with background expectations. 
    more » « less
  6. Abstract The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an open access telescope dedicated to studying the low-frequency (80–300 MHz) southern sky. Since beginning operations in mid-2013, the MWA has opened a new observational window in the southern hemisphere enabling many science areas. The driving science objectives of the original design were to observe 21 cm radiation from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), explore the radio time domain, perform Galactic and extragalactic surveys, and monitor solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric phenomena. All together $60+$ programs recorded 20 000 h producing 146 papers to date. In 2016, the telescope underwent a major upgrade resulting in alternating compact and extended configurations. Other upgrades, including digital back-ends and a rapid-response triggering system, have been developed since the original array was commissioned. In this paper, we review the major results from the prior operation of the MWA and then discuss the new science paths enabled by the improved capabilities. We group these science opportunities by the four original science themes but also include ideas for directions outside these categories. 
    more » « less
  7. Abstract For several decades, the origin of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) has been an unsolved question of high-energy astrophysics. One approach for solving this puzzle is to correlate UHECRs with high-energy neutrinos, since neutrinos are a direct probe of hadronic interactions of cosmic rays and are not deflected by magnetic fields. In this paper, we present three different approaches for correlating the arrival directions of neutrinos with the arrival directions of UHECRs. The neutrino data are provided by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory and ANTARES, while the UHECR data with energies above ∼50 EeV are provided by the Pierre Auger Observatory and the Telescope Array. All experiments provide increased statistics and improved reconstructions with respect to our previous results reported in 2015. The first analysis uses a high-statistics neutrino sample optimized for point-source searches to search for excesses of neutrino clustering in the vicinity of UHECR directions. The second analysis searches for an excess of UHECRs in the direction of the highest-energy neutrinos. The third analysis searches for an excess of pairs of UHECRs and highest-energy neutrinos on different angular scales. None of the analyses have found a significant excess, and previously reported overfluctuations are reduced in significance. Based on these results, we further constrain the neutrino flux spatially correlated with UHECRs. 
    more » « less
  8. null (Ed.)