A Caltech Library Service

Measuring the Primordial Gravitational-Wave Background in the Presence of Astrophysical Foregrounds

Biscoveanu, Sylvia and Talbot, Colm and Thrane, Eric and Smith, Rory (2020) Measuring the Primordial Gravitational-Wave Background in the Presence of Astrophysical Foregrounds. Physical Review Letters, 125 (24). Art. No. 241101. ISSN 0031-9007. doi:10.1103/physrevlett.125.241101.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Primordial gravitational waves are expected to create a stochastic background encoding information about the early Universe that may not be accessible by other means. However, the primordial background is obscured by an astrophysical foreground consisting of gravitational waves from compact binaries. We demonstrate a Bayesian method for estimating the primordial background in the presence of an astrophysical foreground. Since the background and foreground signal parameters are estimated simultaneously, there is no subtraction step, and therefore we avoid astrophysical contamination of the primordial measurement, sometimes referred to as “residuals.” Additionally, since we include the non-Gaussianity of the astrophysical foreground in our model, this method represents the statistically optimal approach to the simultaneous detection of a multicomponent stochastic background.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Biscoveanu, Sylvia0000-0001-7616-7366
Talbot, Colm0000-0003-2053-5582
Thrane, Eric0000-0002-4418-3895
Smith, Rory0000-0001-8516-3324
Additional Information:© 2020 American Physical Society. Received 9 September 2020; accepted 30 October 2020; published 9 December 2020. The authors thank Jan Harms and Salvatore Vitale for thoughtful comments on the manuscript. S. B. and C. T. acknowledge support of the National Science Foundation and the LIGO Laboratory. LIGO was constructed by the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology with funding from the National Science Foundation and operates under cooperative agreement No. PHY-1764464. S. B. is also supported by the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, the Australian-American Fulbright Commission, and the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. DGE-1122374. E. T. and R. S. are supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) CE170100004. E. T. is supported by ARC FT150100281. The authors are grateful for computation resources provided by the OzStar cluster. This article carries LIGO Document Number LIGO-P2000297.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Paul and Daisy Soros FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Australian-American Fulbright CommissionUNSPECIFIED
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipDGE-1122374
Australian Research CouncilCE170100004
Australian Research CouncilFT150100281
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
LIGO DocumentP2000297
Issue or Number:24
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201214-123222107
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:107070
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:14 Dec 2020 21:51
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:59

Repository Staff Only: item control page