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  1. ABSTRACT

    Along their path from source to observer, gravitational waves may be gravitationally lensed by massive objects leading to distortion in the signals. Searches for these distortions amongst the observed signals from the current detector network have already been carried out, though there have as yet been no confident detections. However, predictions of the observation rate of lensing suggest detection in the future is a realistic possibility. Therefore, preparations need to be made to thoroughly investigate the candidate lensed signals. In this work, we present some follow-up analyses that could be applied to assess the significance of such events and ascertain what information may be extracted about the lens-source system by applying these analyses to a number of O3 candidate events, even if these signals did not yield a high significance for any of the lensing hypotheses. These analyses cover the strong lensing, millilensing, and microlensing regimes. Applying these additional analyses does not lead to any additional evidence for lensing in the candidates that have been examined. However, it does provide important insight into potential avenues to deal with high-significance candidates in future observations.

     
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  2. ABSTRACT

    Gravitational time delays provide a powerful one-step measurement of H0, independent of all other probes. One key ingredient in time-delay cosmography are high-accuracy lens models. Those are currently expensive to obtain, both, in terms of computing and investigator time (105–106 CPU hours and ∼0.5–1 yr, respectively). Major improvements in modelling speed are therefore necessary to exploit the large number of lenses that are forecast to be discovered over the current decade. In order to bypass this roadblock, we develop an automated modelling pipeline and apply it to a sample of 31 lens systems, observed by the Hubble Space Telescope in multiple bands. Our automated pipeline can derive models for 30/31 lenses with few hours of human time and <100 CPU hours of computing time for a typical system. For each lens, we provide measurements of key parameters and predictions of magnification as well as time delays for the multiple images. We characterize the cosmography-readiness of our models using the stability of differences in the Fermat potential (proportional to time delay) with respect to modelling choices. We find that for 10/30 lenses, our models are cosmography or nearly cosmography grade (<3 per cent and 3–5 per cent variations). For 6/30 lenses, the models are close to cosmography grade (5–10 per cent). These results utilize informative priors and will need to be confirmed by further analysis. However, they are also likely to improve by extending the pipeline modelling sequence and options. In conclusion, we show that uniform cosmography grade modelling of large strong lens samples is within reach.

     
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  3. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT In recent years, breakthroughs in methods and data have enabled gravitational time delays to emerge as a very powerful tool to measure the Hubble constant H0. However, published state-of-the-art analyses require of order 1 yr of expert investigator time and up to a million hours of computing time per system. Furthermore, as precision improves, it is crucial to identify and mitigate systematic uncertainties. With this time delay lens modelling challenge, we aim to assess the level of precision and accuracy of the modelling techniques that are currently fast enough to handle of order 50 lenses, via the blind analysis of simulated data sets. The results in Rungs 1 and 2 show that methods that use only the point source positions tend to have lower precision ($10\!-\!20{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$) while remaining accurate. In Rung 2, the methods that exploit the full information of the imaging and kinematic data sets can recover H0 within the target accuracy (|A| < 2 per cent) and precision (<6 per cent per system), even in the presence of a poorly known point spread function and complex source morphology. A post-unblinding analysis of Rung 3 showed the numerical precision of the ray-traced cosmological simulations to be insufficient to test lens modelling methodology at the percent level, making the results difficult to interpret. A new challenge with improved simulations is needed to make further progress in the investigation of systematic uncertainties. For completeness, we present the Rung 3 results in an appendix and use them to discuss various approaches to mitigating against similar subtle data generation effects in future blind challenges. 
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  4. ABSTRACT Strongly lensed quadruply imaged quasars (quads) are extraordinary objects. They are very rare in the sky and yet they provide unique information about a wide range of topics, including the expansion history and the composition of the Universe, the distribution of stars and dark matter in galaxies, the host galaxies of quasars, and the stellar initial mass function. Finding them in astronomical images is a classic ‘needle in a haystack’ problem, as they are outnumbered by other (contaminant) sources by many orders of magnitude. To solve this problem, we develop state-of-the-art deep learning methods and train them on realistic simulated quads based on real images of galaxies taken from the Dark Energy Survey, with realistic source and deflector models, including the chromatic effects of microlensing. The performance of the best methods on a mixture of simulated and real objects is excellent, yielding area under the receiver operating curve in the range of 0.86–0.89. Recall is close to 100 per cent down to total magnitude i ∼ 21 indicating high completeness, while precision declines from 85 per cent to 70 per cent in the range i ∼ 17–21. The methods are extremely fast: training on 2 million samples takes 20 h on a GPU machine, and 108 multiband cut-outs can be evaluated per GPU-hour. The speed and performance of the method pave the way to apply it to large samples of astronomical sources, bypassing the need for photometric pre-selection that is likely to be a major cause of incompleteness in current samples of known quads. 
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  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 We present a blind time-delay cosmographic analysis for the lens system DES J0408−5354. This system is extraordinary for the presence of two sets of multiple images at different redshifts, which provide the opportunity to obtain more information at the cost of increased modelling complexity with respect to previously analysed systems. We perform detailed modelling of the mass distribution for this lens system using three band Hubble Space Telescope imaging. We combine the measured time delays, line-of-sight central velocity dispersion of the deflector, and statistically constrained external convergence with our lens models to estimate two cosmological distances. We measure the ‘effective’ time-delay distance corresponding to the redshifts of the deflector and the lensed quasar $D_{\Delta t}^{\rm eff}=$$3382_{-115}^{+146}$ Mpc and the angular diameter distance to the deflector Dd = $1711_{-280}^{+376}$ Mpc, with covariance between the two distances. From these constraints on the cosmological distances, we infer the Hubble constant H0= $74.2_{-3.0}^{+2.7}$ km s−1 Mpc−1 assuming a flat ΛCDM cosmology and a uniform prior for Ωm as $\Omega _{\rm m} \sim \mathcal {U}(0.05, 0.5)$. This measurement gives the most precise constraint on H0 to date from a single lens. Our measurement is consistent with that obtained from the previous sample of six lenses analysed by the H0 Lenses in COSMOGRAIL’s Wellspring (H0LiCOW) collaboration. It is also consistent with measurements of H0 based on the local distance ladder, reinforcing the tension with the inference from early Universe probes, for example, with 2.2σ discrepancy from the cosmic microwave background measurement. 
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  8. 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 https://gwosc.org . 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
  9. 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