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Searching for Gravitational Waves from Cosmological Phase Transitions with the NANOGrav 12.5-Year Dataset

Arzoumanian, Zaven and Baker, Paul T. and Blumer, Harsha and Becsy, Bence and Brazier, Adam and Brook, Paul R. and Burke-Spolaor, Sarah and Charisi, Maria and Chatterjee, Shami and Chen, Siyuan and Cordes, James M. and Cornish, Neil J. and Crawford, Fronefield and Cromartie, H. Thankful and DeCesar, Megan E. and Demorest, Paul B. and Dolch, Timothy and Ellis, Justin A. and Ferrara, Elizabeth C. and Fiore, William and Fonseca, Emmanuel and Garver-Daniels, Nathan and Gentile, Peter A. and Good, Deborah C. and Hazboun, Jeffrey S. and Holgado, A. Miguel and Islo, Kristina and Jennings, Ross J. and Jones, Megan L. and Kaiser, Andrew R. and Kaplan, David L. and Kelley, Luke Zoltan and Key, Joey Shapiro and Laal, Nima and Lam, Michael T. and Lazio, T. Joseph W. and Lee, Vincent S. H. and Lorimer, Duncan R. and Luo, Jing and Lynch, Ryan S. and Madison, Dustin R. and McLaughlin, Maura A. and Mingarelli, Chiara M. F. and Mitridate, Andrea and Ng, Cherry and Nice, David J. and Pennucci, Timothy T. and Pol, Nihan S. and Ransom, Scott M. and Ray, Paul S. and Shapiro-Albert, Brent J. and Siemens, Xavier and Simon, Joseph and Spiewak, Renée and Stairs, Ingrid H. and Stinebring, Daniel R. and Stovall, Kevin and Sun, Jerry P. and Swiggum, Joseph K. and Taylor, Stephen R. and Turner, Jacob E. and Vallisneri, Michele and Vigeland, Sarah J. and Witt, Caitlin A. and Zurek, Kathryn M. (2021) Searching for Gravitational Waves from Cosmological Phase Transitions with the NANOGrav 12.5-Year Dataset. Physical Review Letters, 127 (25). Art. No. 251302. ISSN 0031-9007. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.127.251302.

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We search for a first-order phase transition gravitational wave signal in 45 pulsars from the NANOGrav 12.5-year dataset. We find that the data can be modeled in terms of a strong first order phase transition taking place at temperatures below the electroweak scale. However, we do not observe any strong preference for a phase-transition interpretation of the signal over the standard astrophysical interpretation in terms of supermassive black hole mergers; but we expect to gain additional discriminating power with future datasets, improving the signal to noise ratio and extending the sensitivity window to lower frequencies. An interesting open question is how well gravitational wave observatories could separate such signals.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Baker, Paul T.0000-0003-2745-753X
Blumer, Harsha0000-0003-4046-884X
Becsy, Bence0000-0003-0909-5563
Brook, Paul R.0000-0003-3053-6538
Burke-Spolaor, Sarah0000-0003-4052-7838
Charisi, Maria0000-0003-3579-2522
Chatterjee, Shami0000-0002-2878-1502
Cordes, James M.0000-0002-4049-1882
Cornish, Neil J.0000-0002-7435-0869
Crawford, Fronefield0000-0002-2578-0360
Cromartie, H. Thankful0000-0002-6039-692X
DeCesar, Megan E.0000-0002-2185-1790
Demorest, Paul B.0000-0002-6664-965X
Dolch, Timothy0000-0001-8885-6388
Ferrara, Elizabeth C.0000-0001-7828-7708
Fonseca, Emmanuel0000-0001-8384-5049
Garver-Daniels, Nathan0000-0001-6166-9646
Gentile, Peter A.0000-0001-8158-683X
Good, Deborah C.0000-0003-1884-348X
Hazboun, Jeffrey S.0000-0003-2742-3321
Jennings, Ross J.0000-0003-1082-2342
Jones, Megan L.0000-0001-6607-3710
Kaiser, Andrew R.0000-0002-3654-980X
Kaplan, David L.0000-0001-6295-2881
Kelley, Luke Zoltan0000-0002-6625-6450
Key, Joey Shapiro0000-0003-0123-7600
Lam, Michael T.0000-0003-0721-651X
Lazio, T. Joseph W.0000-0002-3873-5497
Luo, Jing0000-0001-5373-5914
Lynch, Ryan S.0000-0001-5229-7430
Madison, Dustin R.0000-0003-2285-0404
McLaughlin, Maura A.0000-0001-7697-7422
Mingarelli, Chiara M. F.0000-0002-4307-1322
Mitridate, Andrea0000-0003-2898-5844
Ng, Cherry0000-0002-3616-5160
Nice, David J.0000-0002-6709-2566
Pennucci, Timothy T.0000-0001-5465-2889
Pol, Nihan S.0000-0002-8826-1285
Ransom, Scott M.0000-0001-5799-9714
Ray, Paul S.0000-0002-5297-5278
Shapiro-Albert, Brent J.0000-0002-7283-1124
Siemens, Xavier0000-0002-7778-2990
Simon, Joseph0000-0003-1407-6607
Spiewak, Renée0000-0002-6730-3298
Stairs, Ingrid H.0000-0001-9784-8670
Stinebring, Daniel R.0000-0002-1797-3277
Stovall, Kevin0000-0002-7261-594X
Swiggum, Joseph K.0000-0002-1075-3837
Taylor, Stephen R.0000-0003-0264-1453
Vallisneri, Michele0000-0002-4162-0033
Vigeland, Sarah J.0000-0003-4700-9072
Witt, Caitlin A.0000-0002-6020-9274
Zurek, Kathryn M.0000-0002-2629-337X
Additional Information:© 2021 American Physical Society. Received 28 April 2021; revised 17 September 2021; accepted 11 November 2021; published 15 December 2021. This work has been carried out by the NANOGrav Collaboration, which is part of the International Pulsar Timing Array. The NANOGrav project receives support from National Science Foundation (NSF) Physics Frontiers Center Grant No. 1430284. The Arecibo Observatory is a facility of the NSF operated under cooperative agreement (No. AST-1744119) by the University of Central Florida (UCF) in alliance with Universidad Ana G. Méndez (UAGM) and Yang Enterprises (YEI), Inc. The Green Bank Observatory is a facility of the NSF operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the NSF operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. A majority of the computational work was performed on the Caltech High Performance Cluster, partially supported by a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. This work made use of the Super Computing System (Spruce Knob) at WVU, which is funded in part by the National Science Foundation EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Cooperative Agreement No. 1003907, the state of West Virginia (WVEPSCoR via the Higher Education Policy Commission), and WVU. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Portions of this work performed at N. R. L. were supported by Office of Naval Research 6.1 funding. The Flatiron Institute is supported by the Simons Foundation. Pulsar research at U. B. C. is supported by an NSERC Discovery Grant and by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. S. R. T. acknowledges support from NSF Grant No. AST-#2007993, and a Dean’s Faculty Fellowship from Vanderbilt University’s College of Arts & Science. J. S. and M. V. acknowledge support from the JPL RTD program. S. B. S. acknowledges support for this work from NSF Grants No. 1458952 and No. 1815664. S. B. S. is a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar in the Gravity and the Extreme Universe program. T. T. P. acknowledges support from the MTA-ELTE Extragalactic Astrophysics Research Group, funded by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Magyar Tudományos Akadémia), that was used during the development of this research. T. D. and M. L. acknowledge NSF AAG Grant No. 2009468. This work is supported in part by NASA under Grant No. 80GSFC17M0002. V. L., A. M., and K. Z. are supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of High Energy Physics, under Award No. DE-SC0021431 and a Simons Investigator award.
Group:Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
West Virginia Higher Education Policy CommissionUNSPECIFIED
West Virginia UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Naval Research Laboratory6.1 Base funding
Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)UNSPECIFIED
Vanderbilt UniversityUNSPECIFIED
JPL Research and Technology Development FundUNSPECIFIED
Hungarian Academy of SciencesUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0021431
Issue or Number:25
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220104-233129621
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:112699
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:05 Jan 2022 15:59
Last Modified:20 Jan 2022 19:08

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