[1001.0719] Comment on "Bayesian evidence: can we beat MultiNest using traditional MCMC methods", by Rutger van Haasteren (arXiv:0911.2150)

Authors: F. Feroz (Cambridge), M.P. Hobson (Cambridge), R. Trotta (Imperial)

Date: 5 Jan 2010

Abstract: In arXiv:0911.2150, Rutger van Haasteren seeks to criticize the nested sampling algorithm for Bayesian data analysis in general and its MultiNest implementation in particular. He introduces a new method for evidence evaluation based on the idea of Voronoi tessellation and requiring samples from the posterior distribution obtained through MCMC based methods. He compares its accuracy and efficiency with MultiNest, concluding that it outperforms MultiNest in several cases. This comparison is completely unfair since the proposed method can not perform the complete Bayesian data analysis including posterior exploration and evidence evaluation on its own while MultiNest allows one to perform Bayesian data analysis end to end. Furthermore, their criticism of nested sampling (and in turn MultiNest) is based on a few conceptual misunderstandings of the algorithm. Here we seek to set the record straight.

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Jan 21, 2010

1001.0719 (/preprints)
2010-01-21, 13:07 [edit]


[1001.2518] Gravitational Waves I: Basic Emission Equations

Authors: M.Cattani

Date: 14 Jan 2010

Abstract: Using the Einstein gravitation theory we show how to obtain the basic equations which predict the gravitational waves. This paper was written to graduate and post-graduate students of Physics. We deduce the equations didactically following the simplest way maintaining, however, the necessary mathematical rigor.

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Jan 21, 2010

1001.2518 (/preprints)
2010-01-21, 13:06 [edit]


[1001.3161] Gravitational waves and pulsar timing: stochastic background, individual sources and parameter estimation

Authors: A. Sesana, A. Vecchio

Date: 18 Jan 2010

Abstract: Massive black holes are key ingredients of the assembly and evolution of cosmic structures. Pulsar Timing Arrays (PTAs) currently provide the only means to observe gravitational radiation from massive black hole binary systems with masses >10ˆ7 solar masses. The whole cosmic population produces a signal consisting of two components: (i) a stochastic background resulting from the incoherent superposition of radiation from the all the sources, and (ii) a handful of individually resolvable signals that raise above the background level and are produced by sources sufficiently close and/or massive. Considering a wide range of massive black hole binary assembly scenarios, we investigate both the level and shape of the background and the statistics of resolvable sources. We predict a characteristic background amplitude in the interval h_c(f = 10ˆ-8 Hz)~5*10ˆ-16 - 5*10ˆ-15, within the detection range of the complete Parkes PTA. We also quantify the capability of PTAs of measuring the parameters of individual sources, focusing on monochromatic signals produced by binaries in circular orbit. We investigate how the results depend on the number and distribution of pulsars in the array, by computing the variance-covariance matrix of the parameter measurements. For plausible Square Kilometre Array (SKA) observations (100 pulsars uniformly distributed in the sky), and assuming a coherent signal-to-noise ratio of 10, the sky position of massive black hole binaries can be located within a ~40degˆ2 error box, opening promising prospects for detecting a putative electromagnetic counterpart to the gravitational wave emission. The planned SKA, can plausibly observe these unique systems, although the number of detections is likely to be small. (Abridged)

abs pdf

Jan 21, 2010

1001.3161 (/preprints)
2010-01-21, 13:05 [edit]


[1001.3099] Measuring the dark energy equation of state with LISA

Authors: Chris Van Den Broeck, M. Trias, B.S. Sathyaprakash, A.M. Sintes

Date: 18 Jan 2010

Abstract: The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna's (LISA's) observation of supermassive binary black holes (SMBBH) could provide a new tool for precision cosmography. Inclusion of sub-dominant signal harmonics in the inspiral signal allows for high-accuracy sky localization, dramatically improving the chances of finding the host galaxy and obtaining its redshift. Combined with the measurement of the luminosity distance, this could allow us to significantly constrain the dark energy equation-of-state parameter $w$ even with a single SMBBH merger at $z \lesssim 1$. Such an event can potentially have component masses from a wide range ($10ˆ5 - 10ˆ8 \Ms$) over which parameter accuracies vary considerably. We perform an in-depth study in order to understand (i) what fraction of possible SMBBH mergers allow for sky localization, depending on the parameters of the source, and (ii) how accurately $w$ can be measured when the host galaxy can be identified. We also investigate how accuracies on all parameters improve when a knowledge of the sky position can be folded into the estimation of errors. We find that $w$ can be measured to within a few percent in most cases, if the only error in measuring the luminosity distance is due to LISA's instrumental noise and the confusion background from Galactic binaries. However, weak lensing-induced errors will severely degrade the accuracy with which $w$ can be obtained, emphasizing that methods to mitigate weak lensing effects would be required to take advantage of LISA's full potential.

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Jan 21, 2010

1001.3099 (/preprints)
2010-01-21, 13:05 [edit]


[1001.3031] Gravitational-wave signatures of the absence of an event horizon. II. Extreme mass ratio inspirals in the spacetime of a thin-shell gravastar

Authors: Paolo Pani, Emanuele Berti, Vitor Cardoso, Yanbei Chen, Richard Norte

Date: 18 Jan 2010

Abstract: We study gravitational-wave emission from the quasi-circular, extreme mass ratio inspiral of compact objects of mass m0 into massive objects of mass M>>m0 whose external metric is identical to the Schwarzschild metric, except for the absence of an event horizon. To be specific we consider one of the simplest realizations of such an object: a nonrotating thin-shell gravastar. The power radiated in gravitational waves during the inspiral shows distinctive peaks corresponding to the excitation of the polar oscillation modes of the gravastar. For ultra-compact gravastars the frequency of these peaks depends mildly on the gravastar compactness. For masses M~10ˆ6Msun the peaks typically lie within the optimal sensitivity bandwidth of LISA, potentially providing a unique signature of the horizonless nature of the central object. For relatively modest values of the gravastar compactness the radiated power has even more peculiar features, carrying the signature of the microscopic properties of the physical surface replacing the event horizon.

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Jan 21, 2010

1001.3031 (/preprints)
2010-01-21, 13:05 [edit]


[1001.3538] At the Frontier of Knowledge

Authors: Sabine Hossenfelder

Date: 20 Jan 2010

Abstract: At any time, there are areas of science where we are standing at the frontier of knowledge, and can wonder whether we have reached a fundamental limit to human understanding. What is ultimately possible in physics? I will argue here that it is ultimately impossible to answer this question. For this, I will first distinguish three different reasons why the possibility of progress is doubted and offer examples for these cases. Based on this, one can then identify three reasons for why progress might indeed be impossible, and finally conclude that it is impossible to decide which case we are facing.

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Jan 21, 2010

1001.3538 (/preprints)
2010-01-21, 13:05 [edit]


[1001.3631] Numerical modeling of gravitational wave sources accelerated by OpenCL

Authors: Gaurav Khanna, Justin McKennon

Date: 20 Jan 2010

Abstract: In this work, we make use of the OpenCL framework to accelerate an EMRI modeling application using the hardware accelerators -- Cell BE and Tesla CUDA GPU. We describe these compute technologies and our parallelization approach in detail, present our performance results, and then compare them with those from our previous implementations based on the native CUDA and Cell SDKs. The OpenCL framework allows us to execute identical source-code on both architectures and yet obtain strong performance gains that are comparable to what can be derived from the native SDKs.

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Jan 21, 2010

1001.3631 (/preprints)
2010-01-21, 13:05 [edit]


[1001.2583] Unraveling Binary Evolution from Gravitational-Wave Signals and Source Statistics

Authors: Ilya Mandel, Vicky Kalogera, Richard O'Shaughnessy

Date: 14 Jan 2010

Abstract: The next generation of ground-based gravitational-wave detectors are likely to observe gravitational waves from the coalescences of compact-objects binaries. We describe the state of the art for predictions of the rate of compact-binary coalescences and report on initial efforts to develop a framework for converting gravitational-wave observations into improved constraints on astrophysical parameters.

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Jan 21, 2010

1001.2583 (/preprints)
2010-01-21, 13:05 [edit]


[1001.2828] Spinning binary waveforms via PN expansion: Equal-mass case

Authors: Dong-Hoon Kim

Date: 16 Jan 2010

Abstract: Complete expressions of time-domain gravitational waveforms for spinning binary inspirals via the post-Newtonian (PN) approximation would require determination of the phase, amplitude, inclination angle, precession phase and spin vectors as well as the knowledge of the order coefficients for the PN expansion terms. These quantities are determined by solving simultaneously the spin-precession equations, the evolution equation for the Newtonian angular momentum, and the equation for the orbital frequency. For the spinning binaries with equal masses, determination of these quantities can be done fully analytically, by taking advantage of the equal mass symmetry, therefore by simplifying those equations to solve. We provide the analytical results through 1.5 PN order which includes spin-orbit interactions.

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Jan 21, 2010

1001.2828 (/preprints)
2010-01-21, 13:05 [edit]


[1001.3141] Galaxy Zoo: The fundamentally different co-evolution of supermassive black holes and their early- and late-type host galaxies

Authors: Kevin Schawinski, C. Megan Urry, Shanil Virani, Paolo Coppi, Steven P. Bamford, Ezequiel Treister, Chris J. Lintott, Marc Sarzi, William C. Keel, Sugata Kaviraj, Carolin N. Cardamone, Karen L. Masters, Nicholas P. Ross, Dan Andreescu, Phil Murray, Robert C. Nichol, M. Jordan Raddick, Anze Slosar, Alex S. Szalay, Daniel Thomas, Jan Vandenberg

Date: 18 Jan 2010

Abstract: We use data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and visual classifications of morphology from the Galaxy Zoo project to study black hole growth in the nearby Universe (z < 0.05) and to break down the AGN host galaxy population by color, stellar mass and morphology. We find that black hole growth at luminosities L_OIII >1E40 erg/s in early- and late-type galaxies is fundamentally different. AGN host galaxies as a population have a broad range of stellar masses (1E10-1E11 Msun), reside in the green valley of the color-mass diagram and their central black holes have median masses around 1E6.5 Msun. However, by comparing early- and late-type AGN host galaxies to their non-active counterparts, we find several key differences: in early-type galaxies, it is preferentially the galaxies with the least massive black holes that are growing, while late-type galaxies, it is preferentially the most massive}black holes that are growing. The duty cycle of AGN in early-type galaxies is strongly peaked in the green valley below the low-mass end (1E10 Msun) of the red sequence at stellar masses where there is a steady supply of blue cloud progenitors. The duty cycle of AGN in late-type galaxies on the other hand peaks in massive (1E11 Msun) green and red late-types which generally do not have a corresponding blue cloud population of similar mass. At high Eddington ratios (L/L_Edd > 0.1), the only population with a substantial fraction of AGN are the low-mass green valley early-type galaxies. Finally, the Milky Way likely resides in the "sweet spot" on the color-mass diagram where the AGN duty cycle of late-type galaxies is highest. We discuss the implications of these results for our understanding of the role of AGN in the evolution of galaxies

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Jan 21, 2010

1001.3141 (/preprints)
2010-01-21, 12:58 [edit]


[1001.3233] Testing Mass Determinations of Supermassive Black Holes via Stellar Kinematics

Authors: Michele Cappellari, Richard M. McDermid, R. Bacon, Roger L. Davies, P. T. de Zeeuw, Eric Emsellem, Jesus Falcon-Barroso, Davor Krajnovic, Harald Kuntschner, Reynier F. Peletier, Marc Sarzi, Remco C. E. van den Bosch, Glenn van de Ven

Date: 19 Jan 2010

Abstract: We investigate the accuracy of mass determinations M_BH of supermassive black holes in galaxies using dynamical models of the stellar kinematics. We compare 10 of our M_BH measurements, using integral-field OASIS kinematics, to published values. For a sample of 25 galaxies we confront our new M_BH derived using two modeling methods on the same OASIS data.

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Jan 21, 2010

1001.3233 (/preprints)
2010-01-21, 12:58 [edit]


[1001.2316] Intermediate Mass Ratio Black Hole Binaries: Numerical Relativity meets Perturbation Theory

Authors: Carlos O. Lousto, Hiroyuki Nakano, Yosef Zlochower, Manuela Campanelli

Date: 13 Jan 2010

Abstract: We study black-hole binaries in the intermediate-mass-ratio regime 0.01 < q < 0.1 with a new technique that makes use of nonlinear numerical trajectories and efficient perturbative evolutions to compute waveforms at large radii for the leading and nonleading modes. As a proof-of-concept, we compute waveforms for q=1/10. We discuss applications of these techniques for LIGO/VIRGO data analysis and the possibility that our technique can be extended to produce accurate waveform templates from a modest number of fully-nonlinear numerical simulations.

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Jan 21, 2010

1001.2316 (/preprints)
2010-01-21, 12:58 [edit]


[0912.5531] Parameter estimation on gravitational waves from multiple coalescing binaries

Authors: Ilya Mandel

Date: 30 Dec 2009

Abstract: Future ground-based and space-borne interferometric gravitational-wave detectors may capture between tens and thousands of binary coalescence events per year. There is a significant and growing body of work on the estimation of astrophysically relevant parameters, such as masses and spins, from the gravitational-wave signature of a single event. This paper introduces a robust Bayesian framework for combining the parameter estimates for multiple events into a parameter distribution of the underlying event population. The framework can be readily deployed as a rapid post-processing tool.

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Jan 09, 2010

0912.5531 (/preprints)
2010-01-09, 13:53 [edit]


[1001.0725] A useful guide for gravitational wave observers to test modified gravity models

Authors: E. O. Kahya

Date: 5 Jan 2010

Abstract: We present an extension of a previously suggested test of all modified theories of gravity that would reproduce MOND at low accelerations. In a class of models, called "dark matter emulators", gravitational waves and other particles couple to different metrics. This leads to a detectable time lag between their detection at Earth from the same source. We calculate this time lag numerically for any event that occurs in our galaxy up to 400 kpc, and present a graph of this possible time lag. This suggests that, gravitational wave observers might have to consider the possibility of extending their analysis to non-coincident gravitational and electromagnetic signals, and the graph that we present might be a useful guideline for this effort.

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Jan 09, 2010

1001.0725 (/preprints)
2010-01-09, 13:53 [edit]


[1001.0923] Particle Swarm Optimization and gravitational wave data analysis: Performance on a binary inspiral testbed

Authors: Yan Wang, Soumya D. Mohanty

Date: 6 Jan 2010

Abstract: The detection and estimation of gravitational wave (GW) signals belonging to a parameterized family of waveforms requires, in general, the numerical maximization of a data-dependent function of the signal parameters. Due to noise in the data, the function to be maximized is often highly multi-modal with numerous local maxima. Searching for the global maximum then becomes computationally expensive, which in turn can limit the scientific scope of the search. Stochastic optimization is one possible approach to reducing computational costs in such applications. We report results from a first investigation of the Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) method in this context. The method is applied to a testbed motivated by the problem of detection and estimation of a binary inspiral signal. Our results show that PSO works well in the presence of high multi-modality, making it a viable candidate method for further applications in GW data analysis.

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Jan 09, 2010

1001.0923 (/preprints)
2010-01-09, 13:53 [edit]


[0912.4744] Constraining the braneworld with gravitational wave observations

Authors: Sean T. McWilliams

Date: 23 Dec 2009

Abstract: Braneworld models containing large extra dimensions may have observable consequences that, if detected, would validate a requisite element of string theory. In the infinite Randall-Sundrum model, the asymptotic AdS radius of curvature of the extra dimension supports a single bound state of the massless graviton on the brane, thereby avoiding gross violations of Newton's law. However, one possible consequence of this model is an enormous increase in the amount of Hawking radiation emitted by black holes. This consequence has been employed by other authors to attempt to constrain the AdS radius of curvature through the observation of black holes. I present two novel methods for constraining the AdS curvature. The first method results from the effect of this enhanced mass loss on the event rate for extreme mass ratio inspirals (EMRIs) detected by the space-based LISA interferometer. The second method results from the observation of an individually resolvable galactic black hole binary with LISA. I show that the EMRI event rate can constrain the asymptotic AdS radius of curvature, L, at the O(1 micron) level, and the detection of a single galactic black hole binary results in a constraint of L <= 2 microns. While both constraints are comparable to the most stringent result in the literature, the limit derived from observing a galactic binary does not depend on any auxiliary assumptions, such as the age of the constituent black holes, and should therefore provide a robust limit on the achievable constraint from the observation of gravitational wave sources with LISA.

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Jan 09, 2010

0912.4744 (/preprints)
2010-01-09, 13:53 [edit]


[1001.0213] Testing Relativistic Gravity and Detecting Gravitational Waves in Space

Authors: Wei-Tou Ni

Date: 1 Jan 2010

Abstract: For testing gravity and detecting gravitational waves in space, deep-space laser ranging using drag-free spacecraft is a common method. Deep space provides a large arena and a long integration time. Laser technology provides measurement sensitivity, while drag-free technology ensures that gravitational phenomenon to be measured with least spurious noises. In this talk, we give an overview of motivations and methods of various space missions/proposals testing relativistic gravity and detecting gravitational waves, and refer to various references.

abs pdf

Jan 09, 2010

1001.0213 (/preprints)
2010-01-09, 13:53 [edit]


[0912.4925] Detecting coalescences of intermediate-mass black holes in globular clusters with the Einstein Telescope

Authors: Ilya Mandel, Jonathan R. Gair, M. Coleman Miller

Date: 24 Dec 2009

Abstract: We discuss the capability of a third-generation ground-based detector such as the Einstein Telescope to detect mergers of intermediate-mass black holes that may have formed through runaway stellar collisions in globular clusters. We find that detection rates of 2000 events per year are plausible.

abs pdf

Jan 09, 2010

0912.4925 (/preprints)
2010-01-09, 13:53 [edit]


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