skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Gravitational-Wave Cosmology across 29 Decades in Frequency

Abstract

Here, quantum fluctuations of the gravitational field in the early Universe, amplified by inflation, produce a primordial gravitational-wave background across a broad frequency band. We derive constraints on the spectrum of this gravitational radiation, and hence on theories of the early Universe, by combining experiments that cover 29 orders of magnitude in frequency. These include Planck observations of cosmic microwave background temperature and polarization power spectra and lensing, together with baryon acoustic oscillations and big bang nucleosynthesis measurements, as well as new pulsar timing array and ground-based interferometer limits. While individual experiments constrain the gravitational-wave energy density in specific frequency bands, the combination of experiments allows us to constrain cosmological parameters, including the inflationary spectral index nt and the tensor-to-scalar ratio r. Results from individual experiments include the most stringent nanohertz limit of the primordial background to date from the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array, ΩGW(f) < 2.3 × 10-10. Observations of the cosmic microwave background alone limit the gravitational-wave spectral index at 95% confidence to nt ≲ 5 for a tensor-toscalar ratio of r = 0.11. However, the combination of all the above experiments limits nt < 0.36. Future Advanced LIGO observations are expected to further constrain nt < 0.34more » by 2020. When cosmic microwave background experiments detect a nonzero r, our results will imply even more stringent constraints on nt and, hence, theories of the early Universe.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more »; ; ; ; ; ; ; « less
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1244786
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1255113
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0010386
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Physical Review. X
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Physical Review. X Journal Volume: 6 Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2160-3308
Publisher:
American Physical Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS

Citation Formats

Lasky, Paul D., Mingarelli, Chiara M. F., Smith, Tristan L., Giblin, John T., Thrane, Eric, Reardon, Daniel J., Caldwell, Robert, Bailes, Matthew, Bhat, N. D. Ramesh, Burke-Spolaor, Sarah, Dai, Shi, Dempsey, James, Hobbs, George, Kerr, Matthew, Levin, Yuri, Manchester, Richard N., Osłowski, Stefan, Ravi, Vikram, Rosado, Pablo A., Shannon, Ryan M., Spiewak, Renée, van Straten, Willem, Toomey, Lawrence, Wang, Jingbo, Wen, Linqing, You, Xiaopeng, and Zhu, Xingjiang. Gravitational-Wave Cosmology across 29 Decades in Frequency. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevX.6.011035.
Lasky, Paul D., Mingarelli, Chiara M. F., Smith, Tristan L., Giblin, John T., Thrane, Eric, Reardon, Daniel J., Caldwell, Robert, Bailes, Matthew, Bhat, N. D. Ramesh, Burke-Spolaor, Sarah, Dai, Shi, Dempsey, James, Hobbs, George, Kerr, Matthew, Levin, Yuri, Manchester, Richard N., Osłowski, Stefan, Ravi, Vikram, Rosado, Pablo A., Shannon, Ryan M., Spiewak, Renée, van Straten, Willem, Toomey, Lawrence, Wang, Jingbo, Wen, Linqing, You, Xiaopeng, & Zhu, Xingjiang. Gravitational-Wave Cosmology across 29 Decades in Frequency. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevX.6.011035.
Lasky, Paul D., Mingarelli, Chiara M. F., Smith, Tristan L., Giblin, John T., Thrane, Eric, Reardon, Daniel J., Caldwell, Robert, Bailes, Matthew, Bhat, N. D. Ramesh, Burke-Spolaor, Sarah, Dai, Shi, Dempsey, James, Hobbs, George, Kerr, Matthew, Levin, Yuri, Manchester, Richard N., Osłowski, Stefan, Ravi, Vikram, Rosado, Pablo A., Shannon, Ryan M., Spiewak, Renée, van Straten, Willem, Toomey, Lawrence, Wang, Jingbo, Wen, Linqing, You, Xiaopeng, and Zhu, Xingjiang. Thu . "Gravitational-Wave Cosmology across 29 Decades in Frequency". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevX.6.011035.
@article{osti_1244786,
title = {Gravitational-Wave Cosmology across 29 Decades in Frequency},
author = {Lasky, Paul D. and Mingarelli, Chiara M. F. and Smith, Tristan L. and Giblin, John T. and Thrane, Eric and Reardon, Daniel J. and Caldwell, Robert and Bailes, Matthew and Bhat, N. D. Ramesh and Burke-Spolaor, Sarah and Dai, Shi and Dempsey, James and Hobbs, George and Kerr, Matthew and Levin, Yuri and Manchester, Richard N. and Osłowski, Stefan and Ravi, Vikram and Rosado, Pablo A. and Shannon, Ryan M. and Spiewak, Renée and van Straten, Willem and Toomey, Lawrence and Wang, Jingbo and Wen, Linqing and You, Xiaopeng and Zhu, Xingjiang},
abstractNote = {Here, quantum fluctuations of the gravitational field in the early Universe, amplified by inflation, produce a primordial gravitational-wave background across a broad frequency band. We derive constraints on the spectrum of this gravitational radiation, and hence on theories of the early Universe, by combining experiments that cover 29 orders of magnitude in frequency. These include Planck observations of cosmic microwave background temperature and polarization power spectra and lensing, together with baryon acoustic oscillations and big bang nucleosynthesis measurements, as well as new pulsar timing array and ground-based interferometer limits. While individual experiments constrain the gravitational-wave energy density in specific frequency bands, the combination of experiments allows us to constrain cosmological parameters, including the inflationary spectral index nt and the tensor-to-scalar ratio r. Results from individual experiments include the most stringent nanohertz limit of the primordial background to date from the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array, ΩGW(f) < 2.3 × 10-10. Observations of the cosmic microwave background alone limit the gravitational-wave spectral index at 95% confidence to nt ≲ 5 for a tensor-toscalar ratio of r = 0.11. However, the combination of all the above experiments limits nt < 0.36. Future Advanced LIGO observations are expected to further constrain nt < 0.34 by 2020. When cosmic microwave background experiments detect a nonzero r, our results will imply even more stringent constraints on nt and, hence, theories of the early Universe.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevX.6.011035},
journal = {Physical Review. X},
number = 1,
volume = 6,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {3}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.6.011035

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 19 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Blue-tilted tensor spectrum and thermal history of the Universe
journal, February 2015

  • Kuroyanagi, Sachiko; Takahashi, Tomo; Yokoyama, Shuichiro
  • Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, Vol. 2015, Issue 02
  • DOI: 10.1088/1475-7516/2015/02/003

Advanced Virgo: a second-generation interferometric gravitational wave detector
journal, December 2014


Parameter Estimation in Searches for the Stochastic Gravitational-Wave Background
journal, October 2012


Gravitational waves in the cosmos and the laboratory
journal, April 1977


MEASUREMENTS OF SUB-DEGREE B -MODE POLARIZATION IN THE COSMIC MICROWAVE BACKGROUND FROM 100 SQUARE DEGREES OF SPTPOL DATA
journal, July 2015


Theory of cosmological perturbations
journal, June 1992


Tensor perturbations in inflationary models as a probe of cosmology
journal, November 1993

  • Turner, Michael S.; White, Martin; Lidsey, James E.
  • Physical Review D, Vol. 48, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.48.4613

Inflation with violation of the null energy condition
journal, October 2005


Efficient Computation of Cosmic Microwave Background Anisotropies in Closed Friedmann‐Robertson‐Walker Models
journal, August 2000

  • Lewis, Antony; Challinor, Anthony; Lasenby, Anthony
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 538, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/309179

Planck early results. I. The Planck mission
journal, December 2011


A Probe of Primordial Gravity Waves and Vorticity
journal, March 1997


Gravity waves generated by sounds from big bang phase transitions
journal, April 2015


Detection of gravitational waves from the QCD phase transition with pulsar timing arrays
journal, September 2010


Forecasting sensitivity on tilt of power spectrum of primordial gravitational waves after Planck satellite
journal, October 2015


Improved Upper Limits on the Stochastic Gravitational-Wave Background from 2009–2010 LIGO and Virgo Data
journal, December 2014


Big Bang Observer and the neutron-star-binary subtraction problem
journal, February 2006


The International Pulsar Timing Array project: using pulsars as a gravitational wave detector
journal, April 2010


Signature of Gravity Waves in the Polarization of the Microwave Background
journal, March 1997


Improved calculation of the primordial gravitational wave spectrum in the standard model
journal, June 2006


Possibility of Direct Measurement of the Acceleration of the Universe Using 0.1 Hz Band Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Antenna in Space
journal, November 2001


Gravitational waves from binary supermassive black holes missing in pulsar observations
journal, September 2015


Cosmic gravitational-wave background in a cyclic universe
journal, June 2004


Detecting a stochastic background of gravitational radiation: Signal processing strategies and sensitivities
journal, March 1999


String gas cosmology after Planck
journal, November 2015


Estimates of maximum energy density of cosmological gravitational-wave backgrounds
journal, November 2014


Closed string thermodynamics and a blue tensor spectrum
journal, September 2014


Sterile neutrinos help reconcile the observational results of primordial gravitational waves from Planck and BICEP2
journal, January 2015


Tensors, BICEP2 results, prior dependence, and dust
journal, September 2015


Superstrings in the early universe
journal, April 1989


Inflationary gravitational-wave background and measurements of the scalar spectral index
journal, October 2008


A Line-of-Sight Integration Approach to Cosmic Microwave Background Anisotropies
journal, October 1996

  • Seljak, Uros; Zaldarriaga, Matias
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 469
  • DOI: 10.1086/177793

Improved limits on short-wavelength gravitational waves from the cosmic microwave background
journal, June 2012


Perturbations in k-inflation
journal, July 1999


Ekpyrotic universe: Colliding branes and the origin of the hot big bang
journal, November 2001


Cosmological parameters from CMB and other data: A Monte Carlo approach
journal, November 2002


New Cosmic Microwave Background Constraint to Primordial Gravitational Waves
journal, July 2006


Phantom inflation and primordial perturbation spectrum
journal, September 2004


Constraints of relic gravitational waves by pulsar timing arrays: Forecasts for the FAST and SKA projects
journal, June 2013


Searching for stochastic gravitational waves using data from the two colocated LIGO Hanford detectors
journal, January 2015


Gravitational radiation from first-order phase transitions in the presence of a fluid
journal, July 2014


The North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves
journal, November 2013


Advanced LIGO
journal, March 2015


The European Pulsar Timing Array and the Large European Array for Pulsars
journal, November 2013


Multiwavelength constraints on the inflationary consistency relation
journal, May 2015


Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger
journal, February 2016


Joint Analysis of BICEP2/ Keck Array and Planck Data
journal, March 2015


European Pulsar Timing Array limits on an isotropic stochastic gravitational-wave background
journal, August 2015

  • Lentati, L.; Taylor, S. R.; Mingarelli, C. M. F.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 453, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv1538

High-scale inflation and the tensor tilt
journal, January 2016

  • Baumann, Daniel; Lee, Hayden; Pimentel, Guilherme L.
  • Journal of High Energy Physics, Vol. 2016, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1007/JHEP01(2016)101

Sensitivity curves for searches for gravitational-wave backgrounds
journal, December 2013


Detection of B -Mode Polarization at Degree Angular Scales by BICEP2
journal, June 2014


A new type of isotropic cosmological models without singularity
journal, March 1980


The Parkes Pulsar Timing Array Project
journal, January 2013

  • Manchester, R. N.; Hobbs, G.; Bailes, M.
  • Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, Vol. 30
  • DOI: 10.1017/pasa.2012.017

Damping of tensor modes in cosmology
journal, January 2004


Blue tensor spectrum from particle production during inflation
journal, August 2014

  • Mukohyama, Shinji; Namba, Ryo; Peloso, Marco
  • Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, Vol. 2014, Issue 08
  • DOI: 10.1088/1475-7516/2014/08/036

Statistics of cosmic microwave background polarization
journal, June 1997

  • Kamionkowski, Marc; Kosowsky, Arthur; Stebbins, Albert
  • Physical Review D, Vol. 55, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.55.7368

No evidence for the blue-tilted power spectrum of relic gravitational waves
journal, June 2015


Efficient sampling of fast and slow cosmological parameters
journal, May 2013


Gravitational wave experiments and early universe cosmology
journal, July 2000


Gravitational radiation from first-order phase transitions
journal, October 2012


    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Detection methods for stochastic gravitational-wave backgrounds: a unified treatment
    journal, April 2017


    Cosmological backgrounds of gravitational waves
    journal, July 2018


    Log-dependent slope of scalar induced gravitational waves in the infrared regions
    journal, February 2020