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  European Pulsar Timing Array Limits on Continuous Gravitational Waves from Individual Supermassive Black Hole Binaries

Babak, S., Petiteau, A., Sesana, A., Brem, P., Rosado, P. A., Taylor, S. R., et al. (2016). European Pulsar Timing Array Limits on Continuous Gravitational Waves from Individual Supermassive Black Hole Binaries. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 455 (2), 1665-1679. doi:10.1093/mnras/stv2092.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-7CBC-1 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-E82D-7
Genre: Journal Article


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Babak, Stanislav1, Author              
Petiteau, Antoine, Author
Sesana, Alberto1, Author              
Brem, Patrick1, Author
Rosado, Pablo A.2, Author              
Taylor, Stephen R., Author
Lassus, Antoine, Author
Hessels, Jason W. T., Author
Bassa, Cees G., Author
Burgay, Marta, Author
Caballero, R. Nicolas, Author
Champion, David J., Author
Cognard, Ismael, Author
Desvignes, Gregory, Author
Gair, Jonathan R., Author
Guillemot, Lucas, Author
Janssen, Gemma H., Author
Karuppusamy, Ramesh, Author
Kramer, Michael, Author
Lazarus, Patrick, Author
Lee, K. J., AuthorLentati, Lindley, AuthorLiu, Kuo, AuthorMingarelli, Chiara M. F., AuthorOslowski, Stefan, AuthorPerrodin, Delphine, AuthorPossenti, Andrea, AuthorPurver, Mark B., AuthorSanidas, Sotiris, AuthorSmits, Roy, AuthorStappers, Ben, AuthorTheureau, Gilles, AuthorTiburzi, Caterina, Authorvan Haasteren, Rutger2, Author              Vecchio, Alberto, AuthorVerbiest, Joris P. W., Author more..
1Astrophysical Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society, ou_24013              
2Observational Relativity and Cosmology, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society, ou_24011              


Free keywords: Astrophysics, Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics, astro-ph.CO, Astrophysics, Galaxy Astrophysics, astro-ph.GA, Astrophysics, Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics, astro-ph.IM,General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology, gr-qc
 Abstract: We have searched for continuous gravitational wave (CGW) signals produced by individually resolvable, circular supermassive black hole binaries (SMBHBs) in the latest EPTA dataset, which consists of ultra-precise timing data on 41 millisecond pulsars. We develop frequentist and Bayesian detection algorithms to search both for monochromatic and frequency-evolving systems. None of the adopted algorithms show evidence for the presence of such a CGW signal, indicating that the data are best described by pulsar and radiometer noise only. Depending on the adopted detection algorithm, the 95\% upper limit on the sky-averaged strain amplitude lies in the range $6\times 10^{-15}<A<1.5\times10^{-14}$ at $5{\rm nHz}<f<7{\rm nHz}$. This limit varies by a factor of five, depending on the assumed source position, and the most constraining limit is achieved towards the positions of the most sensitive pulsars in the timing array. The most robust upper limit -- obtained via a full Bayesian analysis searching simultaneously over the signal and pulsar noise on the subset of ours six best pulsars -- is $A\approx10^{-14}$. These limits, the most stringent to date at $f<10{\rm nHz}$, exclude the presence of sub-centiparsec binaries with chirp mass $\cal{M}_c>10^9$M$_\odot$ out to a distance of about 25Mpc, and with $\cal{M}_c>10^{10}$M$_\odot$ out to a distance of about 1Gpc ($z\approx0.2$). We show that state-of-the-art SMBHB population models predict $<1\%$ probability of detecting a CGW with the current EPTA dataset, consistent with the reported non-detection. We stress, however, that PTA limits on individual CGW have improved by almost an order of magnitude in the last five years. The continuing advances in pulsar timing data acquisition and analysis techniques will allow for strong astrophysical constraints on the population of nearby SMBHBs in the coming years.


 Dates: 2015-09-072015-09-112016
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 16 pages, 11 figures, accepted for publication in MNRAS
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: -
 Identifiers: arXiv: 1509.02165
DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv2092
URI: http://arxiv.org/abs/1509.02165
 Degree: -



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Title: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
  Other : Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc.
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Oxford : Oxford University Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 455 (2) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 1665 - 1679 Identifier: ISSN: 1365-8711
CoNE: /journals/resource/1000000000024150