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  1. 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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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  7. Abstract We present the results of a model-based search for continuous gravitational waves from the low-mass X-ray binary Scorpius X-1 using LIGO detector data from the third observing run of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo. This is a semicoherent search that uses details of the signal model to coherently combine data separated by less than a specified coherence time, which can be adjusted to balance sensitivity with computing cost. The search covered a range of gravitational-wave frequencies from 25 to 1600 Hz, as well as ranges in orbital speed, frequency, and phase determined from observational constraints. No significant detection candidates were found, and upper limits were set as a function of frequency. The most stringent limits, between 100 and 200 Hz, correspond to an amplitude h 0 of about 10 −25 when marginalized isotropically over the unknown inclination angle of the neutron star’s rotation axis, or less than 4 × 10 −26 assuming the optimal orientation. The sensitivity of this search is now probing amplitudes predicted by models of torque balance equilibrium. For the usual conservative model assuming accretion at the surface of the neutron star, our isotropically marginalized upper limits are close to the predicted amplitude from about 70 to 100 Hz; the limits assuming that the neutron star spin is aligned with the most likely orbital angular momentum are below the conservative torque balance predictions from 40 to 200 Hz. Assuming a broader range of accretion models, our direct limits on gravitational-wave amplitude delve into the relevant parameter space over a wide range of frequencies, to 500 Hz or more. 
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