1,274 research outputs found

    Detecting Genetic Isolation in Human Populations: A Study of European Language Minorities

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    The identification of isolation signatures is fundamental to better understand the genetic structure of human populations and to test the relations between cultural factors and genetic variation. However, with current approaches, it is not possible to distinguish between the consequences of long-term isolation and the effects of reduced sample size, selection and differential gene flow. To overcome these limitations, we have integrated the analysis of classical genetic diversity measures with a Bayesian method to estimate gene flow and have carried out simulations based on the coalescent. Combining these approaches, we first tested whether the relatively short history of cultural and geographical isolation of four "linguistic islands" of the Eastern Alps (Lessinia, Sauris, Sappada and Timau) had left detectable signatures in their genetic structure. We then compared our findings to previous studies of European population isolates. Finally, we explored the importance of demographic and cultural factors in shaping genetic diversity among the groups under study. A combination of small initial effective size and continued genetic isolation from surrounding populations seems to provide a coherent explanation for the diversity observed among Sauris, Sappada and Timau, which was found to be substantially greater than in other groups of European isolated populations. Simulations of micro-evolutionary scenarios indicate that ethnicity might have been important in increasing genetic diversity among these culturally related and spatially close populations. © 2013 Capocasa et al

    First narrow-band search for continuous gravitational waves from known pulsars in advanced detector data

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    Spinning neutron stars asymmetric with respect to their rotation axis are potential sources of continuous gravitational waves for ground-based interferometric detectors. In the case of known pulsars a fully coherent search, based on matched filtering, which uses the position and rotational parameters obtained from electromagnetic observations, can be carried out. Matched filtering maximizes the signalto- noise (SNR) ratio, but a large sensitivity loss is expected in case of even a very small mismatch between the assumed and the true signal parameters. For this reason, narrow-band analysis methods have been developed, allowing a fully coherent search for gravitational waves from known pulsars over a fraction of a hertz and several spin-down values. In this paper we describe a narrow-band search of 11 pulsars using data from Advanced LIGO’s first observing run. Although we have found several initial outliers, further studies show no significant evidence for the presence of a gravitational wave signal. Finally, we have placed upper limits on the signal strain amplitude lower than the spin-down limit for 5 of the 11 targets over the bands searched; in the case of J1813-1749 the spin-down limit has been beaten for the first time. For an additional 3 targets, the median upper limit across the search bands is below the spin-down limit. This is the most sensitive narrow-band search for continuous gravitational waves carried out so far

    A Standard Siren Measurement of the Hubble Constant from GW170817 without the Electromagnetic Counterpart

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    We perform a statistical standard siren analysis of GW170817. Our analysis does not utilize knowledge of NGC 4993 as the unique host galaxy of the optical counterpart to GW170817. Instead, we consider each galaxy within the GW170817 localization region as a potential host; combining the redshifts from all of the galaxies with the distance estimate from GW170817 provides an estimate of the Hubble constant, H 0. Considering all galaxies brighter than 0.626LB⋆0.626{L}_{B}^{\star } as equally likely to host a binary neutron star merger, we find H0=77−18+37{H}_{0}={77}_{-18}^{+37} km s−1 Mpc−1 (maximum a posteriori and 68.3% highest density posterior interval; assuming a flat H 0 prior in the range [10,220]\left[10,220\right] km s−1 Mpc−1). We explore the dependence of our results on the thresholds by which galaxies are included in our sample, and we show that weighting the host galaxies by stellar mass or star formation rate provides entirely consistent results with potentially tighter constraints. By applying the method to simulated gravitational-wave events and a realistic galaxy catalog we show that, because of the small localization volume, this statistical standard siren analysis of GW170817 provides an unusually informative (top 10%) constraint. Under optimistic assumptions for galaxy completeness and redshift uncertainty, we find that dark binary neutron star measurements of H 0 will converge as 40%/(N)40 \% /\sqrt{(N)}, where N is the number of sources. While these statistical estimates are inferior to the value from the counterpart standard siren measurement utilizing NGC 4993 as the unique host, H0=76−13+19{H}_{0}={76}_{-13}^{+19} km s−1 Mpc−1 (determined from the same publicly available data), our analysis is a proof-of-principle demonstration of the statistical approach first proposed by Bernard Schutz over 30 yr ago

    Advanced Virgo Plus: Future Perspectives

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    While completing the commissioning phase to prepare the Virgo interferometer for the next joint Observation Run (O4), the Virgo collaboration is also finalizing the design of the next upgrades to the detector to be employed in the following Observation Run (O5). The major upgrade will concern decreasing the thermal noise limit, which will imply using very large test masses and increased laser beam size. But this will not be the only upgrade to be implemented in the break between the O4 and O5 observation runs to increase the Virgo detector strain sensitivity. The paper will cover the challenges linked to this upgrade and implications on the detector's reach and observational potential, reflecting the talk given at 12th Cosmic Ray International Seminar - CRIS 2022 held in September 2022 in Napoli

    The Advanced Virgo+ status

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    The gravitational wave detector Advanced Virgo+ is currently in the commissioning phase in view of the fourth Observing Run (O4). The major upgrades with respect to the Advanced Virgo configuration are the implementation of an additional recycling cavity, the Signal Recycling cavity (SRC), at the output of the interferometer to broaden the sensitivity band and the Frequency Dependent Squeezing (FDS) to reduce quantum noise at all frequencies. The main difference of the Advanced Virgo + detector with respect to the LIGO detectors is the presence of marginally stable recycling cavities, with respect to the stable recycling cavities present in the LIGO detectors, which increases the difficulties in controlling the interferometer in presence of defects (both thermal and cold defects). This work will focus on the interferometer commissioning, highlighting the control challenges to maintain the detector in the working point which maximizes the sensitivity and the duty cycle for scientific data taking

    Virgo Detector Characterization and Data Quality during the O3 run

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    The Advanced Virgo detector has contributed with its data to the rapid growth of the number of detected gravitational-wave signals in the past few years, alongside the two LIGO instruments. First, during the last month of the Observation Run 2 (O2) in August 2017 (with, most notably, the compact binary mergers GW170814 and GW170817) and then during the full Observation Run 3 (O3): an 11 months data taking period, between April 2019 and March 2020, that led to the addition of about 80 events to the catalog of transient gravitational-wave sources maintained by LIGO, Virgo and KAGRA. These discoveries and the manifold exploitation of the detected waveforms require an accurate characterization of the quality of the data, such as continuous study and monitoring of the detector noise. These activities, collectively named {\em detector characterization} or {\em DetChar}, span the whole workflow of the Virgo data, from the instrument front-end to the final analysis. They are described in details in the following article, with a focus on the associated tools, the results achieved by the Virgo DetChar group during the O3 run and the main prospects for future data-taking periods with an improved detector.Comment: 86 pages, 33 figures. This paper has been divided into two articles which supercede it and have been posted to arXiv on October 2022. Please use these new preprints as references: arXiv:2210.15634 (tools and methods) and arXiv:2210.15633 (results from the O3 run

    Virgo Detector Characterization and Data Quality: results from the O3 run

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    The Advanced Virgo detector has contributed with its data to the rapid growth of the number of detected gravitational-wave (GW) signals in the past few years, alongside the two Advanced LIGO instruments. First during the last month of the Observation Run 2 (O2) in August 2017 (with, most notably, the compact binary mergers GW170814 and GW170817), and then during the full Observation Run 3 (O3): an 11-months data taking period, between April 2019 and March 2020, that led to the addition of about 80 events to the catalog of transient GW sources maintained by LIGO, Virgo and now KAGRA. These discoveries and the manifold exploitation of the detected waveforms require an accurate characterization of the quality of the data, such as continuous study and monitoring of the detector noise sources. These activities, collectively named {\em detector characterization and data quality} or {\em DetChar}, span the whole workflow of the Virgo data, from the instrument front-end hardware to the final analyses. They are described in details in the following article, with a focus on the results achieved by the Virgo DetChar group during the O3 run. Concurrently, a companion article describes the tools that have been used by the Virgo DetChar group to perform this work.Comment: 57 pages, 18 figures. To be submitted to Class. and Quantum Grav. This is the "Results" part of preprint arXiv:2205.01555 [gr-qc] which has been split into two companion articles: one about the tools and methods, the other about the analyses of the O3 Virgo dat

    Virgo Detector Characterization and Data Quality: tools