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  Tests of Gravitational-Wave Birefringence with the Gravitational-Wave Catalog

Wang, Y.-F., Brown, S., Shao, L., & Zhao, W. (in preparation). Tests of Gravitational-Wave Birefringence with the Gravitational-Wave Catalog.

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2109.09718.pdf (Preprint), 2MB
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 Creators:
Wang, Yi-Fan1, Author              
Brown, Stephanie1, Author              
Shao, Lijing, Author
Zhao, Wen, Author
Affiliations:
1Observational Relativity and Cosmology, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society, ou_24011              

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Free keywords: Astrophysics, High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena, astro-ph.HE,General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology, gr-qc
 Abstract: The routine detection of gravitational-wave events from compact binary coalescence has allowed precise tests of gravity in strong field, dynamical field, and high energy regime. To date, a total of 57 gravitational-wave events have been reported by the third Open Gravitational-wave Catalog (3-OGC). In this work, we report the results of testing gravitational-wave birefringence using the events from 3-OGC. Birefringence, an effect where the left- and right-handed polarizations of gravitational waves follow different equations of motion, occurs when the parity symmetry of gravity is broken. This arises naturally in the effective field theory extension of general relativity. Using Bayesian inference with state-of-the-art waveform modeling, we use all events in 3-OGC to constrain the lower limit of energy scale at which parity violation effects emerge. Overall we do not find evidence for a violation of general relativity, and thus we constrain the parity-violating energy scale to $M_\mathrm{PV} > 0.14$ GeV at $90\%$ confidence level, which is an improvement over previous results by one order of magnitude. Intriguingly, we find an outlier, GW190521, that supports the existence of birefringence over general relativity with a higher match-filtering signal-to-noise ratio and a natural log Bayes factor of $7.84$. Because the inferred $M_\mathrm{PV}$ from GW190521 is in tension with the combined constraints, we hypothesize that this may be caused by the limitations of the existing waveform approximants, such as systematic errors during merger phase of the waveform, or by the existence of physical effects such as eccentricity which are not taken into account by the current waveform approximants.

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 Dates: 2021-09-20
 Publication Status: Not specified
 Pages: 5 pages, 3 figures, supplementary materials at https://github.com/gwastro/3ogc_birefringence, comments welcome
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 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: arXiv: 2109.09718
 Degree: -

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