[1206.0703] GRB beaming and gravitational-wave observations

Authors: Hsin-Yu Chen, Daniel E. Holz

Date: 4 Jun 2012

Abstract: Using the observed rate of short-duration gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) it is possible to make predictions for the detectable rate of compact binary coalescences in gravitational-wave detectors. These estimates rely crucially on the growing consensus that short gamma-ray bursts are associated with the merger of two neutron stars or a neutron star and a black hole, but otherwise make no assumptions beyond the observed rate of short GRBs. In particular, our results do not assume coincident gravitational wave and electromagnetic observations. We show that the non-detection of mergers in the existing LIGO/Virgo data constrains the progenitor masses and beaming angles of gamma-ray bursts. For future detectors, we find that the first detection of a NS-NS binary coalescence associated with the progenitors of short GRBs is likely to happen within the first 16 months of observation, even in the case of a modest network of observatories (e.g., only LIGO-Hanford and LIGO-Livingston) operating at modest sensitivities (e.g., advanced LIGO design sensitivity, but without signal recycling mirrors), and assuming a conservative distribution of beaming angles (e.g. all GRBs beamed at \theta=30 deg). Less conservative assumptions reduce the waiting time until first detection to weeks to months. Alternatively, the compact binary coalescence model of short GRBs can be ruled out if a binary is not seen within the first two years of operation of a LIGO-Hanford, LIGO-Livingston, and Virgo network at advanced design sensitivity. We also demonstrate that the rate of GRB triggered sources is less than the rate of untriggered events if \theta<30 deg, independent of the noise curve, network configuration, and observed GRB rate. Thus the first detection in GWs of a binary GRB progenitor is unlikely to be associated with a GRB.

abs pdf

Jun 07, 2012

1206.0703 (/preprints)
2012-06-07, 01:18 [edit]

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