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Published October 20, 2010 | Published
Journal Article Open

First search for gravitational waves from the youngest known neutron star


We present a search for periodic gravitational waves from the neutron star in the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A. The search coherently analyzes data in a 12 day interval taken from the fifth science run of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. It searches gravitational-wave frequencies from 100 to 300 Hz and covers a wide range of first and second frequency derivatives appropriate for the age of the remnant and for different spin-down mechanisms. No gravitational-wave signal was detected. Within the range of search frequencies, we set 95% confidence upper limits of (0.7–1.2) × 10^(−24) on the intrinsic gravitational-wave strain, (0.4–4) × 10^(−4) on the equatorial ellipticity of the neutron star, and 0.005–0.14 on the amplitude of r-mode oscillations of the neutron star. These direct upper limits beat indirect limits derived from energy conservation and enter the range of theoretical predictions involving crystalline exotic matter or runaway r-modes. This paper is also the first gravitational-wave search to present upper limits on the r-mode amplitude.

Additional Information

© 2010 American Astronomical Society. Received 2010 June 30; accepted 2010 August 21; published 2010 September 30. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the United States National Science Foundation for the construction and operation of the LIGO Laboratory and the Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom, the Max-Planck- Society, and the State of Niedersachsen/Germany for support of the construction and operation of the GEO600 detector. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the support of the research by these agencies and by the Australian Research Council, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research of India, the Istituto Nazionale di FisicaNucleare of Italy, the Spanish Ministerio de Educaci´on y Ciencia, the Conselleria d'Economia, Hisenda i Innovaci´o of the Govern de les Illes Balears, the Royal Society, the Scottish Funding Council, the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Carnegie Trust, the Leverhulme Trust, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Research Corporation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. This paper has been designated LIGO Document No. LIGO-P1000028-v7.

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