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Published February 26, 2003 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Merits of coincident observation of energetic cosmic events by astronomical and gravity wave observatories


Presently there are six interferometric gravitational wave detectors in the commissioning or construction phase in North America, Europe, and Japan. Once completed this worldwide network of detectors will be capable of detecting gravitational waves with unprecedented detail and sensitivity. Their ambition reaches well beyond the first direct detection of gravitational waves; they promise the dawn of a new field, the gravitational wave astronomy. One of the major goals of interferometric gravity wave detectors is to develop and exploit gravitational wave detection in conjunction with other conventional observational techniques, which are capable of observing the same astronomical process using different methods. The most promising areas are the optical, GRB and neutrino searches for energetic processes. Coincident observation of astronomical events shall revolutionize the way we understand energetic processes and will provide a new window on compact and difficult to study astronomical objects such as stellar cores. We will discuss the status, the potential future, and benefits of collaboration amongst gravitational wave detector networks and astronomical/GRB/neutrino networks and some of the practical experiences with the LIGO detectors.

Additional Information

© 2003 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). The LIGO Project and LIGO Laboratory were constructed by the National Science Foundation under cooperative agreement PHY-9210038. The Laboratory operates under cooperative agreement PHY-0107417. We are grateful to external organizations and to scientists helping us with data related to our field of study. We are grateful to Scott Barthelmy and the GCN network and Kevin Hurley and the IPN network for providing us with near real time GRB triggers and to the Ulysses, Konus, SAX, and HETE experiments who detect and generate the events distributed GCN and IPN. We thank Kate Scholberg and the Supernova Early Warning System (SNEWS) for providing us with near real time access to relevant neutrino burst information. We would like to thank the people on the LIGO and LSC team, who are building the instruments, which will allow us to pursue such exciting line of analysis. The author greatly acknowledges the collaborative effort help and suggestions of the people condensing in and around the Burst Upper Limit Group within LSC. I would like to thank Zsuzsa Márka, Benoit Mours, Gary Sanders and Hareem Tariq for their useful comments.

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