Authors: Andrew Gould (Ohio State)
Date: 19 Nov 2010
Abstract: Thompson has recently argued that the Kozai mechanism is primarily responsible for driving white-dwarf binary mergers and so generating type Ia supernovae (SNe). If this is the case, the gravitational wave signal from these systems will be characterized by isolated repeating pulses that are well approximated by parabolic encounters. I show that standard Fourier-based searches would do a very poor job of digging these sources out of the noise, and propose a new type matched filter search, which can improve sensitivity by up to a factor ~30 relative to Fourier. If these eccentric binaries account for even a modest fraction of the observed SN rate, then there should be of order 1 pulse every 20 seconds coming from within 1 kpc, and there should be of order a thousand detectable sources in this same volume. I outline methods of identifying these sources both to remove this very pernicious background to other signals, and to find candidate SN Ia progenitors, and I sketch practical methods to find optical counterparts to these sources and so measure their masses and distances.
© M. Vallisneri 2012 — last modified on 2010/01/29
Tantum in modicis, quantum in maximis