Probing intrinsic properties of short gamma-ray bursts with gravitational waves

Fan, X., Messenger, C. and Heng, I. S. (2017) Probing intrinsic properties of short gamma-ray bursts with gravitational waves. Physical Review Letters, 119(18), 181102. (doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.181102)

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Progenitors of short gamma-ray bursts are thought to be neutron stars coalescing with their companion black hole or neutron star, which are one of the main gravitational wave sources. We have devised a Bayesian framework for combining gamma-ray burst and gravitational wave information that allows us to probe short gamma-ray burst luminosities. We show that combined short gamma-ray burst and gravitational wave observations not only improve progenitor distance and inclination angle estimates, they also allow the isotropic luminosities of short gamma-ray bursts to be determined without the need for host galaxy or light-curve information. We characterize our approach by simulating 1000 joint short gamma-ray burst and gravitational wave detections by Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo. We show that ∼ 90 % of the simulations have uncertainties on short gamma-ray burst isotropic luminosity estimates that are within a factor of two of the ideal scenario, where the distance is known exactly. Therefore, isotropic luminosities can be confidently determined for short gamma-ray bursts observed jointly with gravitational waves detected by Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo. Planned enhancements to Advanced LIGO will extend its range and likely produce several joint detections of short gamma-ray bursts and gravitational waves. Third-generation gravitational wave detectors will allow for isotropic luminosity estimates for the majority of the short gamma-ray burst population within a redshift of z ∼ 1 .

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Messenger, Dr Christopher and Heng, Professor Ik Siong and Fan, Dr Xilong
Authors: Fan, X., Messenger, C., and Heng, I. S.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Physical Review Letters
Publisher:American Physical Society
ISSN (Online):1079-7114
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 American Physical Society
First Published:First published in Physical Review Letters 119(18): 181102
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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