Schedule Aug 03, 2012
Searching for Spinning Binary Neutron Stars with Advanced LIGO
Alex Nitz (Syracuse Univ.)

The detection of gravitational waves from binary neutron stars is a major goal of the gravitational-wave observatories Advanced LIGO and Advanced VIRGO. Previous searches for binary neutron stars with LIGO and Virgo neglected the component stars’ angular momentum (spin). We demonstrate that neglecting spin in optimal (matched-?lter) searches causes advanced detectors to lose more than 3% of the possible signal-to-noise ratio for 60% (6%) of sources, assuming that neutron star dimensionless spins are uniformly distributed between 0 and 0.4 (0.05). We present a new method of constructing ?lter banks for advanced-detector searches that includes gravitational-wave models of systems where each component stars’ spin is aligned or anti-aligned with the orbital angular momentum. We show that this search loses more than 3% of the maximum signal-to-noise for only 9% (0.2%) of BNS sources. Use of this template bank will allow gravitational-wave observatories to accurately explore the distribution and evolution of the spins of neutron stars in binaries.

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