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Published July 1, 2016 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

Gravitational-wave Constraints on the Progenitors of Fast Radio Bursts


The nature of fast radio bursts (FRBs) remains enigmatic. Highly energetic radio pulses of millisecond duration, FRBs are observed with dispersion measures consistent with an extragalactic source. A variety of models have been proposed to explain their origin. One popular class of theorized FRB progenitor is the coalescence of compact binaries composed of neutron stars and/or black holes. Such coalescence events are strong gravitational-wave emitters. We demonstrate that measurements made by the LIGO and Virgo gravitational-wave observatories can be leveraged to severely constrain the validity of FRB binary coalescence models. Existing measurements constrain the binary black hole rate to approximately 5% of the FRB rate, and results from Advanced LIGO's O1 and O2 observing runs may place similarly strong constraints on the fraction of FRBs due to binary neutron star and neutron star–black hole progenitors.

Additional Information

© 2016 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2016 April 7; revised 2016 June 11; accepted 2016 June 14; published 2016 June 30. We thank Krzysztof Belczynski, Christopher Berry, Daniel Hoak, Brennan Hughey, Shri Kulkarni, and Graham Woan, as well as the anonymous referee whose comments greatly improved this text. The authors are members of the LIGO Laboratory, supported by the United States National Science Foundation. LIGO was constructed by the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology with funding from the National Science Foundation and operates under cooperative agreement PHY-0757058. This paper carries LIGO Document Number P1600106. A Mathematica notebook that reproduces the results in this paper is available at: https://github.com/tcallister/GravWaveFRBConstraints.

Attached Files

Published - apjl_825_1_L12.pdf

Submitted - 1603.08867v4.pdf


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