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The gravitational wave background from cosmological compact binaries

Farmer, Alison J. and Phinney, E. S. (2003) The gravitational wave background from cosmological compact binaries. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 346 (4). pp. 1197-1214. ISSN 0035-8711.

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We use a population synthesis approach to characterize, as a function of cosmic time, the extragalactic close binary population descended from stars of low to intermediate initial mass. The unresolved gravitational wave (GW) background due to these systems is calculated for the 0.1–10 mHz frequency band of the planned Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). This background is found to be dominated by emission from close white dwarf–white dwarf (WD–WD) pairs. The spectral shape can be understood in terms of some simple analytic arguments. To quantify the astrophysical uncertainties, we construct a range of evolutionary models which produce populations consistent with Galactic observations of close WD–WD binaries. The models differ in binary evolution prescriptions as well as initial parameter distributions and cosmic star formation histories. We compare the resulting background spectra, the shapes of which are found to be insensitive to the model chosen, and different to those found recently by Schneider et al. From this set of models, we constrain the amplitude of the extragalactic background to be 1 × 10^(−12) ≲ Ω_(gw)(1 mHz) ≲ 6 × 10^(−12), in terms of Ω_(gw)(f), the fraction of closure density received in gravitational waves in the logarithmic frequency interval around ƒ.

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Additional Information:© 2003 RAS. Accepted 2003 September 3. Received 2003 August 25; in original form 2003 April 22; Published: 21 December 2003. This research has been supported in part by NASA grant NAG5-10707. We thank J. Hurley for supplying the original BSE code, and for his advice and insights, and we also thank G. Nelemans and B. Hansen for useful discussions. We are also grateful to the referee, V. Kalogera, for her valuable comments.
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Subject Keywords:gravitational waves – binaries: close – diffuse radiation
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180404-070758341
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Official Citation:Alison J. Farmer, E. S. Phinney; The gravitational wave background from cosmological compact binaries, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 346, Issue 4, 21 December 2003, Pages 1197–1214,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:85583
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:04 Apr 2018 17:04
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 19:33

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