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Published October 18, 2019 | Submitted + Published
Journal Article Open

Search for Subsolar Mass Ultracompact Binaries in Advanced LIGO's Second Observing Run


We present an Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo search for sub-solar mass ultracompact objects in data obtained during Advanced LIGO's second observing run. In contrast to a previous search of Advanced LIGO data from the first observing run, this search includes the effects of component spin on the gravitational waveform. We identify no viable gravitational wave candidates consistent with sub-solar mass ultracompact binaries with at least one component between 0.2 - 1.0_⊙. We use the null result to constrain the binary merger rate of (0.2_⊙, 0.2_⊙) binaries to be less than 3.7 x 10⁵ Gpc⁻³ yr⁻¹ and the binary merger rate of (1.0⊙, 1.0_⊙) binaries to be less than 5.2 x 10³ Gpc⁻³ yr⁻¹. Sub-solar mass ultracompact objects are not expected to form via known stellar evolution channels, though it has been suggested that primordial density fluctuations or particle dark matter with cooling mechanisms and/or nuclear interactions could form black holes with sub-solar masses. Assuming a particular primordial black hole formation model, we constrain a population of merging 0.2_⊙ black holes to account for less than 16% of the dark matter density and a population of merging 1.0_⊙ black holes to account for less than 2% of the dark matter density. We discuss how constraints on the merger rate and dark matter fraction may be extended to arbitrary black hole population models that predict sub-solar mass binaries.

Additional Information

© 2019 American Physical Society. Received 25 May 2019; published 18 October 2019. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) for the construction and operation of the LIGO Laboratory and Advanced LIGO as well as the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) of the United Kingdom, the Max-Planck-Society (MPS), and the State of Niedersachsen/Germany for support of the construction of Advanced LIGO and construction and operation of the GEO600 detector. Additional support for Advanced LIGO was provided by the Australian Research Council. The authors gratefully acknowledge the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, for the construction and operation of the Virgo detector and the creation and support of the EGO consortium. The authors also gratefully acknowledge research support from these agencies as well as by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research of India, the Department of Science and Technology, India, the Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB), India, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, India, the Spanish Agencia Estatal de Investigación, the Vicepresidència i Conselleria d'Innovació, Recerca i Turisme and the Conselleria d'Educació i Universitat del Govern de les Illes Balears, the Conselleria d'Educació, Investigació, Cultura i Esport de la Generalitat Valenciana, the National Science Centre of Poland, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, the Russian Science Foundation, the European Commission, the European Regional Development Funds (ERDF), the Royal Society, the Scottish Funding Council, the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA), the Lyon Institute of Origins (LIO), the Paris Île-de-France Region, the National Research, Development and Innovation Office Hungary (NKFI), the National Research Foundation of Korea, Industry Canada and the Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council Canada, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations, and Communications, the International Center for Theoretical Physics South American Institute for Fundamental Research (ICTP-SAIFR), the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), the Leverhulme Trust, the Research Corporation, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Taiwan and the Kavli Foundation. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the NSF, STFC, MPS, INFN, CNRS and the State of Niedersachsen/Germany for provision of computational resources. Computing resources and personnel for this project were provided by the Pennsylvania State University. This article has been assigned the document number ligo-p1900037.

Attached Files

Published - PhysRevLett.123.161102.pdf

Submitted - 1904.08976.pdf


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August 19, 2023
October 18, 2023