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

Upper Limits on the Rates of Binary Neutron Star and Neutron-Star—Black-Hole Mergers from Advanced Ligo's First Observing Run


We report here the non-detection of gravitational waves from the merger of binary neutron star systems and neutron-star–black-hole systems during the first observing run of Advanced LIGO. In particular we searched for gravitational wave signals from binary neutron star systems with component masses ∈ [1,3] M_⊙ and component dimensionless spins < 0.05. We also searched for neutron-star–black-hole systems with the same neutron star parameters, black hole mass ∈ [2,99] M_⊙ and no restriction on the black hole spin magnitude. We assess the sensitivity of the two LIGO detectors to these systems, and find that they could have detected the merger of binary neutron star systems with component mass distributions of 1.35 ± 0.13M_⊙ at a volume-weighted average distance of ~ 70 Mpc, and for neutron-star–black-hole systems with neutron star masses of 1.4M_⊙ and black hole masses of at least 5M_⊙, a volume-weighted average distance of at least ~ 110 Mpc. From this we constrain with 90% confidence the merger rate to be less than 12,600 Gpc^(-3) yr^(-1) for binary-neutron star systems and less than 3,600 Gpc^(-3) yr^(-1) for neutron-star–black-hole systems. We discuss the astrophysical implications of these results, which we find to be in tension with only the most optimistic predictions. However, we find that if no detection of neutron-star binary mergers is made in the next two Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo observing runs we would place significant constraints on the merger rates. Finally, assuming a rate of 10^(+20)_(-7) Gpc^(-3) yr^(-1) short gamma ray bursts beamed towards the Earth and assuming that all short gamma ray bursts have binary-neutron-star (neutron-star–black-hole) progenitors we can use our 90% confidence rate upper limits to constrain the beaming angle of the gamma-ray burst to be greater than 2.3^(+1.7º)_(-1.1) (4.3^(+3.1º)_(-1.9)).

Additional Information

© 2016 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2016 July 27; revised 2016 October 5; accepted 2016 October 8; published 2016 November 23. 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, Department of Science and Technology, India, Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB), India, Ministry of Human Resource Development, India, the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, the Conselleria d'Economia i Competitivitat and Conselleria d'Educació, Cultura i Universitats of the Govern de les Illes Balears, the National Science Centre of Poland, the European Commission, 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 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, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP), Russian Foundation for Basic Research, the Leverhulme Trust, the Research Corporation, 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.

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Published - Abbott_2016_ApJL_832_L21.pdf

Submitted - 1607.07456v1.pdf


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