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Title: Gravitational-Wave Stochastic Background from Cosmic Strings

Abstract

We consider the stochastic background of gravitational waves produced by a network of cosmic strings and assess their accessibility to current and planned gravitational wave detectors, as well as to big bang nucleosynthesis (BBN), cosmic microwave background (CMB), and pulsar timing constraints. We find that current data from interferometric gravitational wave detectors, such as Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO), are sensitive to areas of parameter space of cosmic string models complementary to those accessible to pulsar, BBN, and CMB bounds. Future more sensitive LIGO runs and interferometers such as Advanced LIGO and Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) will be able to explore substantial parts of the parameter space.

Authors:
;  [1];  [2]
  1. Center for Gravitation and Cosmology, Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, P.O. Box 413, Wisconsin, 53201 (United States)
  2. LIGO Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, MS 18-34, Pasadena, California 91125 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20957741
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physical Review Letters; Journal Volume: 98; Journal Issue: 11; Other Information: DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.98.111101; (c) 2007 The American Physical Society; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; ANTENNAS; COSMOLOGICAL MODELS; GRAVITATIONAL WAVE DETECTORS; GRAVITATIONAL WAVES; INTERFEROMETERS; INTERGALACTIC SPACE; LASERS; MATHEMATICAL SPACE; NUCLEOSYNTHESIS; PULSARS; RELICT RADIATION; STRING MODELS; STRING THEORY

Citation Formats

Siemens, Xavier, Creighton, Jolien, and Mandic, Vuk. Gravitational-Wave Stochastic Background from Cosmic Strings. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1103/PHYSREVLETT.98.111101.
Siemens, Xavier, Creighton, Jolien, & Mandic, Vuk. Gravitational-Wave Stochastic Background from Cosmic Strings. United States. doi:10.1103/PHYSREVLETT.98.111101.
Siemens, Xavier, Creighton, Jolien, and Mandic, Vuk. Fri . "Gravitational-Wave Stochastic Background from Cosmic Strings". United States. doi:10.1103/PHYSREVLETT.98.111101.
@article{osti_20957741,
title = {Gravitational-Wave Stochastic Background from Cosmic Strings},
author = {Siemens, Xavier and Creighton, Jolien and Mandic, Vuk},
abstractNote = {We consider the stochastic background of gravitational waves produced by a network of cosmic strings and assess their accessibility to current and planned gravitational wave detectors, as well as to big bang nucleosynthesis (BBN), cosmic microwave background (CMB), and pulsar timing constraints. We find that current data from interferometric gravitational wave detectors, such as Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO), are sensitive to areas of parameter space of cosmic string models complementary to those accessible to pulsar, BBN, and CMB bounds. Future more sensitive LIGO runs and interferometers such as Advanced LIGO and Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) will be able to explore substantial parts of the parameter space.},
doi = {10.1103/PHYSREVLETT.98.111101},
journal = {Physical Review Letters},
number = 11,
volume = 98,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Mar 16 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Fri Mar 16 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}
  • Spectra of the stochastic gravitational wave backgrounds from cosmic strings are calculated and compared with present and future experimental limits. Motivated by theoretical expectations of light cosmic strings in superstring cosmology, improvements in experimental sensitivity, and recent demonstrations of large, stable loop formation from a primordial network, this study explores a new range of string parameters with masses lighter than previously investigated. A standard 'one-scale' model for string loop formation is assumed. Background spectra are calculated numerically for dimensionless string tensions G{mu}/c{sup 2} between 10{sup -7} and 10{sup -18}, and initial loop sizes as a fraction of the Hubble radiusmore » {alpha} from 0.1 to 10{sup -6}. The spectra show a low frequency power-law tail, a broad spectral peak due to loops decaying at the present epoch (including frequencies higher than their fundamental mode, and radiation associated with cusps), and a flat (constant energy density) spectrum at high frequencies due to radiation from loops that decayed during the radiation-dominated era. The string spectrum is distinctive and unlike any other known source. The peak of the spectrum for light strings appears at high frequencies, significantly affecting predicted signals. The spectra of the cosmic string backgrounds are compared with current millisecond pulsar limits and Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) sensitivity curves. For models with large stable loops ({alpha}=0.1), current pulsar-timing limits exclude G{mu}/c{sup 2}>10{sup -9}, a much tighter limit on string tension than achievable with other techniques, and within the range of current models based on brane inflation. LISA may detect a background from strings as light as G{mu}/c{sup 2}{approx_equal}10{sup -16}, corresponding to field theory strings formed at roughly 10{sup 11} GeV.« less
  • We compute the contribution of kinks on cosmic string loops to stochastic background of gravitational waves (SBGW). We find that kinks contribute at the same order as cusps to the SBGW. We discuss the accessibility of the total background due to kinks as well as cusps to current and planned gravitational-wave detectors, as well as to the big bang nucleosynthesis (BBN), the cosmic microwave background (CMB), and pulsar timing constraints. As in the case of cusps, we find that current data from interferometric gravitational-wave detectors, such as LIGO, are sensitive to areas of parameter space of cosmic string models complementarymore » to those accessible to pulsar, BBN, and CMB bounds.« less
  • The gravitational wave (GW) signals emitted by a network of cosmic strings are reexamined in view of the possible formation of a network of cosmic superstrings at the end of brane inflation. The reconnection probability p of intersecting fundamental or Dirichlet strings might be much smaller than 1, and the properties of the resulting string network may differ significantly from those of ordinary strings (which have p=1). In addition, it has been recently suggested that the typical length of newly formed loops may differ by a factor {epsilon}<<1 from its standard estimate. Here, we analyze the effects of the twomore » parameters p and {epsilon} on the GW signatures of strings. We consider both the GW bursts emitted from cusps of oscillating string loops, which have been suggested as candidate sources for the LIGO/VIRGO and LISA interferometers, and the stochastic GW background, which may be detectable by pulsar-timing observations. In both cases we find that previously obtained results are quite robust, at least when the loop sizes are not suppressed by many orders of magnitude relative to the standard scenario. We urge pulsar observers to reanalyze a recently obtained 17-yr combined data set to see whether the large scatter exhibited by a fraction of the data might be due to a transient GW burst activity of some sort, e.g., to a near cusp event.« less
  • The equation which governs the temporal evolution of a gravitational wave (GW) in curved space-time can be treated as the Schroedinger equation for a particle moving in the presence of an effective potential. When GWs propagate in an expanding universe with constant effective potential, there is a critical value (k{sub c}) of the comoving wave number which discriminates the metric perturbations into oscillating (k>k{sub c}) and nonoscillating (k<k{sub c}) modes. As a consequence, if the nonoscillatory modes are outside the horizon they do not freeze out. The effective potential is reduced to a nonvanishing constant in a cosmological model whichmore » is driven by a two-component fluid, consisting of radiation (dominant) and cosmic strings (subdominant). It is known that the cosmological evolution gradually results in the scaling of a cosmic-string network and, therefore, after some time ({delta}{tau}) the Universe becomes radiation dominated. The evolution of the nonoscillatory GW modes during {delta}{tau} (while they were outside the horizon), results in the distortion of the GW power spectrum from what it is anticipated in a pure radiation model, at present-time frequencies in the range 10{sup -16} Hz<f < or approx. 10{sup 5} Hz.« less
  • We present an analysis of high-precision pulsar timing data taken as part of the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) project. We have observed 17 pulsars for a span of roughly five years using the Green Bank and Arecibo radio telescopes. We analyze these data using standard pulsar timing models, with the addition of time-variable dispersion measure and frequency-variable pulse shape terms. Sub-microsecond timing residuals are obtained in nearly all cases, and the best rms timing residuals in this set are {approx}30-50 ns. We present methods for analyzing post-fit timing residuals for the presence of a gravitational wavemore » signal with a specified spectral shape. These optimally take into account the timing fluctuation power removed by the model fit, and can be applied to either data from a single pulsar, or to a set of pulsars to detect a correlated signal. We apply these methods to our data set to set an upper limit on the strength of the nHz-frequency stochastic supermassive black hole gravitational wave background of h{sub c} (1 yr{sup -1}) < 7 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -15} (95%). This result is dominated by the timing of the two best pulsars in the set, PSRs J1713+0747 and J1909-3744.« less