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Published December 15, 2016 | Published
Journal Article Open

Inferring the core-collapse supernova explosion mechanism with gravitational waves


A detection of a core-collapse supernova (CCSN) gravitational-wave (GW) signal with an Advanced LIGO and Virgo detector network may allow us to measure astrophysical parameters of the dying massive star. GWs are emitted from deep inside the core, and, as such, they are direct probes of the CCSN explosion mechanism. In this study, we show how we can determine the CCSN explosion mechanism from a GW supernova detection using a combination of principal component analysis and Bayesian model selection. We use simulations of GW signals from CCSN exploding via neutrino-driven convection and rapidly rotating core collapse. Previous studies have shown that the explosion mechanism can be determined using one LIGO detector and simulated Gaussian noise. As real GW detector noise is both nonstationary and non-Gaussian, we use real detector noise from a network of detectors with a sensitivity altered to match the advanced detectors design sensitivity. For the first time, we carry out a careful selection of the number of principal components to enhance our model selection capabilities. We show that with an advanced detector network we can determine if the CCSN explosion mechanism is driven by neutrino convection for sources in our Galaxy and rapidly-rotating core collapse for sources out to the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Additional Information

© 2016 American Physical Society. (Received 16 October 2016; published 27 December 2016) The authors acknowledge helpful exchanges with James Clark, Alan Weinstein, Jonah Kanner, Rory Smith, and the LIGO SN working group that have benefitted this paper. We thank the CCSN simulation community for making their gravitational waveform predictions available for this study. I. S. H., J. P., and J. L. are supported by UK Science and Technology Facilities Council Grants No. ST/L000946/1 and No. ST/L000946/1. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the support of the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance. 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 Agreements No. PHY-0107417 and No. PHY-0757058.

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Published - PhysRevD.94.123012.pdf


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