EXPLORING SHORT GAMMA-RAY BURSTS AS GRAVITATIONAL-WAVE STANDARD SIRENS
Author(s)Hughes, Scott A.; Nissanke, Samaya M.; Holz, Daniel E.; Dalal, Neal; Sievers, Jonathan L.
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Recent observations support the hypothesis that a large fraction of "short-hard" gamma-ray bursts (SHBs) are associated with the inspiral and merger of compact binaries. Since gravitational-wave (GW) measurements of well-localized inspiraling binaries can measure absolute source distances, simultaneous observation of a binary's GWs and SHB would allow us to directly and independently determine both the binary's luminosity distance and its redshift. Such a "standard siren" (the GW analog of a standard candle) would provide an excellent probe of the nearby (z [superscript < subscript ~] 0.3) universe's expansion, independent of the cosmological distance ladder, thereby complementing other standard candles. Previous work explored this idea using a simplified formalism to study measurement by advanced GW detector networks, incorporating a high signal-to-noise ratio limit to describe the probability distribution for measured parameters. In this paper, we eliminate this simplification, constructing distributions with a Markov Chain Monte Carlo technique. We assume that each SHB observation gives source sky position and time of coalescence, and we take non-spinning binary neutron star and black hole-neutron star coalescences as plausible SHB progenitors. We examine how well parameters (particularly distance) can be measured from GW observations of SHBs by a range of ground-based detector networks. We find that earlier estimates overstate how well distances can be measured, even at fairly large signal-to-noise ratio. The fundamental limitation to determining distance proves to be a degeneracy between distance and source inclination. Overcoming this limitation requires that we either break this degeneracy, or measure enough sources to broadly sample the inclination distribution.
DepartmentKavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics
Institute of Physics ; American Astronomical Society.
Nissanke, Samaya et al. “EXPLORING SHORT GAMMA-RAY BURSTS AS GRAVITATIONAL-WAVE STANDARD SIRENS.” The Astrophysical Journal 725.1 (2010): 496-514. © IOP Publishing 2011
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