European Pulsar Timing Array Limits On An Isotropic Stochastic Gravitational-Wave Background

Lentati L, Taylor SR, Mingarelli CMF, Sesana A, Sanidas SA, Vecchio A, Caballero RN, Lee KJ, Haasteren R van, Babak S, Bassa CG, et al. (2015)
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 453(3).

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Abstract
We present new limits on an isotropic stochastic gravitational-wavebackground (GWB) using a six pulsar dataset spanning 18 yr of observations fromthe 2015 European Pulsar Timing Array data release (Desvignes et al. in prep.).Performing a Bayesian analysis, we fit simultaneously for the intrinsic noiseparameters for each pulsar in this dataset, along with common correlatedsignals including clock, and Solar System ephemeris errors to obtain a robust95$\%$ upper limit on the dimensionless strain amplitude $A$ of the backgroundof $A<3.0\times 10^{-15}$ at a reference frequency of $1\mathrm{yr^{-1}}$ and aspectral index of $13/3$, corresponding to a background from inspirallingsuper-massive black hole binaries, constraining the GW energy density to$\Omega_\mathrm{gw}(f)h^2 < 1.1\times10^{-9}$ at 2.8 nHz. We show thatperforming such an analysis when fixing the intrinsic noise parameters for theindividual pulsars leads to an erroneously stringent upper limit, by a factor$\sim 1.7$. We obtain a difference in the logarithm of the Bayesian evidencebetween models that include either a correlated background, or uncorrelatedcommon red noise of $-1.0 \pm 0.5$, indicating no support for the presence of acorrelated GWB in this dataset. We discuss the implications of our analysis forthe astrophysics of supermassive black hole binaries, and present 95$\%$ upperlimits on the string tension, $G\mu/c^2$, characterising a background producedby a cosmic string network for a set of possible scenarios, and for astochastic relic GWB. For a Nambu-Goto field theory cosmic string network, weset a limit $G\mu/c^2<1.3\times10^{-7}$, identical to that set by the PlanckCollaboration, combining Planck and high-$\ell$ Cosmic Microwave Backgrounddata from other experiments. (Abridged)
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Lentati L, Taylor SR, Mingarelli CMF, et al. European Pulsar Timing Array Limits On An Isotropic Stochastic Gravitational-Wave Background. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 2015;453(3).
Lentati, L., Taylor, S. R., Mingarelli, C. M. F., Sesana, A., Sanidas, S. A., Vecchio, A., Caballero, R. N., et al. (2015). European Pulsar Timing Array Limits On An Isotropic Stochastic Gravitational-Wave Background. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 453(3).
Lentati, L., Taylor, S. R., Mingarelli, C. M. F., Sesana, A., Sanidas, S. A., Vecchio, A., Caballero, R. N., Lee, K. J., Haasteren, R. van, Babak, S., et al. (2015). European Pulsar Timing Array Limits On An Isotropic Stochastic Gravitational-Wave Background. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 453.
Lentati, L., et al., 2015. European Pulsar Timing Array Limits On An Isotropic Stochastic Gravitational-Wave Background. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 453(3).
L. Lentati, et al., “European Pulsar Timing Array Limits On An Isotropic Stochastic Gravitational-Wave Background”, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 453, 2015.
Lentati, L., Taylor, S.R., Mingarelli, C.M.F., Sesana, A., Sanidas, S.A., Vecchio, A., Caballero, R.N., Lee, K.J., Haasteren, R. van, Babak, S., Bassa, C.G., Brem, P., Burgay, M., Champion, D.J., Cognard, I., Desvignes, G., Gair, J.R., Guillemot, L., Hessels, J.W.T., Janssen, G.H., Karuppusamy, R., Kramer, M., Lassus, A., Lazarus, P., Liu, K., Oslowski, S., Perrodin, D., Petiteau, A., Possenti, A., Purver, M.B., Rosado, P.A., Smits, R., Stappers, B., Theureau, G., Tiburzi, C., Verbiest, J.: European Pulsar Timing Array Limits On An Isotropic Stochastic Gravitational-Wave Background. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 453, (2015).
Lentati, Lindley, Taylor, Stephen R., Mingarelli, Chiara M. F., Sesana, Alberto, Sanidas, Sotiris A., Vecchio, Alberto, Caballero, R. Nicolas, Lee, K. J., Haasteren, Rutger van, Babak, Stanislav, Bassa, Cees G., Brem, Patrick, Burgay, Marta, Champion, David J., Cognard, Ismael, Desvignes, Gregory, Gair, Jonathon R., Guillemot, Lucas, Hessels, Jason W. T., Janssen, Gemma H., Karuppusamy, Ramesh, Kramer, Michael, Lassus, Antoine, Lazarus, Patrick, Liu, Kuo, Oslowski, Stefan, Perrodin, Delphine, Petiteau, Antoine, Possenti, Andrea, Purver, Mark B., Rosado, Pablo A., Smits, Roy, Stappers, Ben, Theureau, Gilles, Tiburzi, Caterina, and Verbiest, Joris. “European Pulsar Timing Array Limits On An Isotropic Stochastic Gravitational-Wave Background”. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 453.3 (2015).
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