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Gravitational

Astronomy
The New Frontier
B.S. Sathyaprakash
Gravitational Physics Group, School of Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational Physics Users of ARCCA


Leonid Grishchuk
Stephen Fairhurst
Patrick Sutton
B Sathyaprakash
Bernard Schutz
Deepak Baskaran
James Clark
Alex Dietz
Gareth Jones
Craig Robinson
Van Den Broeck
Wen Zhao

Gravitational Waves - The New Frontier

David McKechan
Devanka Pathak
Ian Harry
Edmund Schluessel
Jack Yu
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Newtons law of Gravity


The force of gravity
between two masses m
and M separated by a
distance r is
F(t) = G m M / r(t)2
Newtons law of gravity
transmits force
instantaneously - if the
mass M changes its
position, it is felt by body
m instantaneously
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Newtons law of Gravity


A

..

Gravitational Waves - The New Frontier

When Earth reaches the


point A let us remove the
Sun from its position
At that very instant Earth
would no more feel the
force of Sun
Newtons law of inertia
states Earth would take
the path tangent to the
orbit at A
However, Sun will be
seen by Earthlings for
about 5 minutes as the
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Earth zips across

Einsteins Special Theory of Relativity


The speed of light is the
same for all
Woman on the ground
measures the same speed
for the light from the torch
held by the girl speeding on
a rocket

One famous consequence


of this is E = mc2
Another consequence is
the twin-paradox
The one we are interested
is nothing can travel
faster than light
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Newtons Gravity Vs Relativity


At the turn of the last century Einstein faced the
contradiction between Newtons theory of gravity and his
new special theory of relativity
According to Newton, Gravity acts instantaneously
Relativity, a very successful theory supported by
Maxwells theory of light, does not allow any signal to
propagate faster than light
Either abandon special relativity or find a new theory of
gravity

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Einsteins Gravity
According to Einstein,
gravity is not a force but a
warping of space & time
Space is said to be warped
if familiar laws of
geometry in flat space do
not hold
Time is warped if clocks at
different points in space
dont run at the same rate
Someone living close to a
black hole would age more
slowly relative to their
twin sister on Earth
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Einsteins Gravity
Earth Moves around sun
not because of there is
a force of gravity
Earth moves in
straightest possible
paths in the curved
geometry of space
caused by the Sun
Gravitational force,
just as all other forces,
is transmitted at a
finite speed

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Einsteins Gravity
A

..

Gravitational Waves - The New Frontier

Again, when the Earth reaches


point A let us remove the Sun
from its position
According to Einstein Earth
would continue to move in its
orbit around the Sun for about
5 minutes after the Sun has
been removed
It takes a path that is tangent
to orbit at B
Gravity travels at a finite
speed: implies wavelike
phenomenon must be
associated with gravity
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Einsteins Gravity & Gravitational Waves

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What are Gravitational Waves?


A natural consequence of
Einsteins gravity and special
theory of relativity
Ripples on space-time curvature
travelling at the speed of light

Anything that accelerates


produces gravitational waves
A falling cannon ball, an
astronomical binary system, an
exploding star

We know gravitational waves exist


Decaying orbit of the double
binary pulsar for which Hulse and
Taylor were awarded the Nobel
Prize in 1992
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Tidal gravitational forces


Gravitational effect of
a distant source can
only be felt through
its tidal forces
Gravitational waves
are traveling, timedependent tidal
forces.
Tidal forces scale with
size, typically produce
elliptical
deformations.
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Gravitational Waves & Tidal Forces

Plus polarization
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Cross polarization
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Evidence for gravitational waves


In 1974 Hulse and Taylor observed
the first binary pulsar
Two neutron stars
Orbital period ~ 7.5 Hrs
Stars whirling around at a thousandth
the speed of light

Einsteins gravity says the binary


should emit gravitational
radiation
Eventually the two stars will
coalesce, but that will take
another 100 million years

Gravitational Waves - The New Frontier

Causes the two stars to spiral in


towards each other
Observed decrease in period - about
10 s per year - is exactly as
predicted by Einsteins theory
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A world network of
Interferometric Gravitational
Wave Detectors

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Gravitational Wave Detectors

Gravitational Waves - The New Frontier

About 1 billion US $ investment worldwide


STFC has invested about US $ 50

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British-German GEO

American
at
American
LIGO
at Livingstone
Hanford
French
ItalianLIGO
VIRGO
near
PISA
Laser
Interferometer
Space
Antenna

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The LIGO Scientific Collaboration


Comprises ~ 30 institutions and > 400 people

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Recent Results from GW Searches


The largest mountain on the
Crab pulsar (or radius 10 km) is
no more than 10 cm
Primordial gravitational waves
did not limit primordial
synthesis of heavy elements
(helium, deuterium, etc.)
A recent (Feb 1, 2007) gammaray burst that occurred in
Andromeda was a new
phenomena that needs further
explanation

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Gravitational waves: A New Window


Was Einstein right?
Is the nature of gravitational radiation as predicted by Einstein
or is it something different?
Are black holes hairless?
Are there naked singularities?

How did the black holes at galactic nuclei form?


The centre of our galaxy has a million solar-mass black hole?
How and when did it form? Galactic cannibalism via slow
accretion of smaller black holes, gas and other stars?

Fundamental questions about our existence


What were the physical conditions at the big bang?
What is the nature of quantum gravity, origin of space and
time?
How many spatial dimensions are there, only 3?
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Most of the Universe is Dark

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Astronomical Sources
Compact binary mergers
Binary neutron stars
Binary black holes
Black hole-neutron star binaries

Gravitational wave bursts


Black hole collisions
Supernovae
gamma-ray bursts

Continuous waves
Rapidly spinning neutron stars or
other objects

Stochastic background
Primordial background
Astrophysical background

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Slide by: P Shellard

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Why are GW searches challenging?


All sky sensitivity
Any one detector is sensitive to
a significant portion of the sky

Large data rates


Tens of terabytes per year from
a worldwide detector network

Wide band sensitivity


Different types of signals all
present in the same data set

Beam Pattern Functions of


an American and a
European Detector
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Computational Cost of our Searches


Current searches are limited by computational
resources
Can only search for non-spinning black hole binaries
A month of search takes 60,000 CPU hours
Bigger computers afford better searches

Future Searches
Search for black holes with spins
Would require at least 10-100 times more
computational cost

ARCCA Cluster Can Help Detect Gravitational


Waves
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Targeting the biggest discovery of


our times through ARCCA
Here are some signals from colliding
black holes as predicted by
Einsteins theory

Pattern matching algorithm

But matched filters, i.e. templates


used in the search, depend on many
parameters

Amplitude

We use matched filtering to search


for signals buried in noise

Increasing Spin

Black hole spins modulate the


waveform

A search in 17-dimensional space


involving the masses, spins of the
stars, position on the sky, etc.

About 100 million shapes must be


searched for in each piece of data

Time
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What do we need?
Compute cycles: a lot of them
Our algorithms are
embarrassingly parallel
Literally no communication
between different compute
nodes

Data Access:
Each detector produces about 30
TBytes of data per year and will
run for 2 to 3 years at a time
About 10% of this should be
available for compute nodes
Multiple nodes (100s of them)
might access data at any one
time
Centralized data archives are a
bottleneck and a nightmare in
our game
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A typical pipeline: Searching for colliding


black holes

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All sky search for spinning neutron stars

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Gravitational Astronomy
Quantum theory
Fundamental physics

Extreme Gravity
GW observations with

ARCCA
(Very) Early Universe

Cosmology

Gravitational Waves - The New Frontier

Astrophysics

Stellar interiors
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