208 research outputs found

    TASI Lectures on Gravitational Waves from the Early Universe

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    These lectures discuss how the direct detection of gravitational waves can be used to probe the very early Universe. We review the main cosmological mechanisms which could have produced relic gravitational waves, and compare theoretical predictions with capabilities and time scales of current and upcoming experiments.Comment: 37 pages, 8 figures; typos correcte

    Effective action and tension renormalization for cosmic and fundamental strings

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    We derive the effective action for classical strings coupled to dilatonic, gravitational, and axionic fields. We show how to use this effective action for: (i) renormalizing the string tension, (ii) linking ultraviolet divergences to the infrared (long-range) interaction between strings, (iii) bringing additional light on the special cancellations that occur for fundamental strings, and (iv) pointing out the limitations of Dirac's celebrated field-energy approach to renormalization.Comment: 13 pages, RevTex, one paragraph added at the en

    Modeling dynamical scalarization with a resummed post-Newtonian expansion

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    Despite stringent constraints set by astrophysical observations, there remain viable scalar-tensor theories that could be distinguished from general relativity with gravitational-wave detectors. A promising signal predicted in these alternative theories is dynamical scalarization, which can dramatically affect the evolution of neutron-star binaries near merger. Motivated by the successful treatment of spontaneous scalarization, we develop a formalism that partially resums the post-Newtonian expansion to capture dynamical scalarization in a mathematically consistent manner. We calculate the post-Newtonian order corrections to the equations of motion and scalar mass of a binary system. Through comparison with quasi-equilibrium configuration calculations, we verify that this new approximation scheme can accurately predict the onset and magnitude of dynamical scalarization.Comment: 24 pages, 8 figures; recolored figures, fixed typos, added emai

    The dynamics of precessing binary black holes using the post-Newtonian approximation

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    We investigate the (conservative) dynamics of binary black holes using the Hamiltonian formulation of the post-Newtonian (PN) equations of motion. The Hamiltonian we use includes spin-orbit coupling, spin-spin coupling, and mass monopole/spin-induced quadrupole interaction terms. In the case of both quasi-circular and eccentric orbits, we search for the presence of chaos (using the method of Lyapunov exponents) for a large variety of initial conditions. For quasi-circular orbits, we find no chaotic behavior for black holes with total mass 10 - 40 solar masses when initially at a separation corresponding to a Newtonian gravitational-wave frequency less than 150 Hz. Only for rather small initial radial distances, for which spin-spin induced oscillations in the radial separation are rather important, do we find chaotic solutions, and even then they are rare. Moreover, these chaotic quasi-circular orbits are of questionable astrophysical significance, since they originate from direct parametrization of the equations of motion rather than from widely separated binaries evolving to small separations under gravitational radiation reaction. In the case of highly eccentric orbits, which for ground-based interferometers are not astrophysically favored, we again find chaotic solutions, but only at pericenters so small that higher order PN corrections, especially higher spin PN corrections, should also be taken into account.Comment: 18 pages, 26 figure

    Third post-Newtonian spin-orbit effect in the gravitational radiation flux of compact binaries

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    Gravitational waves contain tail effects that are due to the backscattering of linear waves in the curved space-time geometry around the source. The knowledge as well as the accuracy of the two-body inspiraling post-Newtonian (PN) dynamics and of the gravitational-wave signal has been recently improved, notably by computing the spin-orbit (SO) terms induced by tail effects in the gravitational-wave energy flux at the 3PN order. Here we sketch this derivation, which yields the phasing formula including SO tail effects through the same 3PN order. Those results can be employed to improve the accuracy of analytical templates aimed at describing the whole process of inspiral, merger, and ringdown.Comment: 6 pages; proceeding of the 9th LISA Symposium, Pari

    Detection template families for gravitational waves from the final stages of binary--black-hole inspirals: Nonspinning case

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    We investigate the problem of detecting gravitational waves from binaries of nonspinning black holes with masses m = 5--20 Msun, moving on quasicircular orbits, which are arguably the most promising sources for first-generation ground-based detectors. We analyze and compare all the currently available post--Newtonian approximations for the relativistic two-body dynamics; for these binaries, different approximations predict different waveforms. We then construct examples of detection template families that embed all the approximate models, and that could be used to detect the true gravitational-wave signal (but not to characterize accurately its physical parameters). We estimate that the fitting factor for our detection families is >~0.95 (corresponding to an event-rate loss <~15%) and we estimate that the discretization of the template family, for ~10^4 templates, increases the loss to <~20%.Comment: 58 pages, 38 EPS figures, final PRD version; small corrections to GW flux terms as per Blanchet et al., PRD 71, 129902(E)-129904(E) (2005

    Quasiequilibrium sequences of binary neutron stars undergoing dynamical scalarization

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    We calculate quasiequilibrium sequences of equal-mass, irrotational binary neutron stars (BNSs) in a scalar-tensor (ST) theory of gravity that admits dynamical scalarization. We model neutron stars with realistic equations of state (notably through piecewise polytropic equations of state). Using these quasiequilibrium sequences we compute the binary's scalar charge and binding energy versus orbital angular frequency. We find that the absolute value of the binding energy is smaller than in general relativity (GR), differing at most by ~14% at high frequencies for the cases considered. We use the newly computed binding energy and the balance equation to estimate the number of gravitational-wave (GW) cycles during the adiabatic, quasicircular inspiral stage up to the end of the sequence, which is the last stable orbit or the mass-shedding point, depending on which comes first. We find that, depending on the ST parameters, the number of GW cycles can be substantially smaller than in GR. In particular, we obtain that when dynamical scalarization sets in around a GW frequency of ~130 Hz, the sole inclusion of the ST binding energy causes a reduction of GW cycles from ~120 Hz up to the end of the sequence (~1200 Hz) of ~11% with respect to the GR case. We estimate that when the ST energy flux is also included the reduction in GW cycles becomes of ~24%. Quite interestingly, dynamical scalarization can produce a difference in the number of GW cycles with respect to the GR point-particle case that is much larger than the effect due to tidal interactions, which is on the order of only a few GW cycles. These results further clarify and confirm recent studies that have evolved BNSs either in full numerical relativity or in post-Newtonian theory, and point out the importance of developing accurate ST-theory waveforms for systems composed of strongly self-gravitating objects, such as BNSs.Comment: 16 pages, 14 figures, 2 tables, updated to match the published versio

    Spin effects on gravitational waves from inspiraling compact binaries at second post-Newtonian order

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    We calculate the gravitational waveform for spinning, precessing compact binary inspirals through second post-Newtonian order in the amplitude. When spins are collinear with the orbital angular momentum and the orbits are quasi-circular, we further provide explicit expressions for the gravitational-wave polarizations and the decomposition into spin-weighted spherical-harmonic modes. Knowledge of the second post-Newtonian spin terms in the waveform could be used to improve the physical content of analytical templates for data analysis of compact binary inspirals and for more accurate comparisons with numerical-relativity simulations.Comment: 15 pages, expressions available in mathematica format upon reques

    Gravitational waves

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    These lectures are envisioned to be an introductory, basic course in gravitational-wave physics.Comment: 50 pages, 13 figures; to appear in the Proceedings of Les Houches Summer School, Particle Physics and Cosmology: The Fabric of Spacetime, Les Houches, France, 31 Jul - 25 Aug 200