Constraints on short, hard gamma-ray burst beaming angles from gravitational wave observations

Williams, D. , Clark, J.A., Williamson, A.R. and Heng, I.S. (2018) Constraints on short, hard gamma-ray burst beaming angles from gravitational wave observations. Astrophysical Journal, 858(2), 79. (doi: 10.3847/1538-4357/aab847)

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The first detection of a binary neutron star merger, GW170817, and an associated short gamma-ray burst confirmed that neutron star mergers are responsible for at least some of these bursts. The prompt gamma-ray emission from these events is thought to be highly relativistically beamed. We present a method for inferring limits on the extent of this beaming by comparing the number of short gamma-ray bursts (SGRBs) observed electromagnetically with the number of neutron star binary mergers detected in gravitational waves. We demonstrate that an observing run comparable to the expected Advanced LIGO (aLIGO) 2016–2017 run would be capable of placing limits on the beaming angle of approximately $\theta \in (2\buildrel{\circ}\over{.} 88,14\buildrel{\circ}\over{.} 15)$, given one binary neutron star detection, under the assumption that all mergers produce a gamma-ray burst, and that SGRBs occur at an illustrative rate of ${{ \mathcal R }}_{\mathrm{grb}}=10\,{\mathrm{Gpc}}^{-3}\,{\mathrm{yr}}^{-1}$. We anticipate that after a year of observations with aLIGO at design sensitivity in 2020, these constraints will improve to $\theta \in (8\buildrel{\circ}\over{.} 10,14\buildrel{\circ}\over{.} 95)$, under the same efficiency and SGRB rate assumptions.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Additional funding is from the NSF (USA) grants PHYS-1505824 and PHYS-1505524SH, and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research grant 62002444-Nissanke
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Williams, Dr Daniel and Heng, Professor Ik Siong
Authors: Williams, D., Clark, J.A., Williamson, A.R., and Heng, I.S.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Research Centre:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy > Institute for Gravitational Research
Journal Name:Astrophysical Journal
Publisher:American Astronomical Society
ISSN (Online):1538-4357
Published Online:09 May 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The American Astronomical Society
First Published:First published in Astrophysical Journal 858(2):79
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
714151STFC DTPMartin HendryScience & Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/N504075/1S&E P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY
624341Investigations in Gravitational Radiation / Particle Astrophysics Capital equipmentSheila RowanScience & Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/L000946/1S&E P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY