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Search for Subsolar-Mass Ultracompact Binaries in Advanced LIGO's First Observing Run


Abbott, BP and Abbott, R and Siellez, K and Shandera, S, LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration, Search for Subsolar-Mass Ultracompact Binaries in Advanced LIGO's First Observing Run, Physical Review Letters, 121, (23) Article 231103. ISSN 0031-9007 (2018) [Refereed Article]

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2018 American Physical Society. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License ( The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. Must link to published article.

DOI: doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.231103


We present the first Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo search for ultracompact binary systems with component masses between 0.2M⊙1.0M⊙ using data taken between September 12,2015 and January 19,2016. We find no viable gravitational wave candidates. Our null result constrains the coalescence rate of monochromatic (delta function) distributions of nonspinning (0.2M⊙, 0.2M⊙) ultracompact binaries to be less than 1.0 106 Gpc−3 yr−1 and the coalescence rate of a similar distribution of (1.0M⊙, 1.0M⊙) ultracompact binaries to be less than 1.9נ104Gpc−3yr−1 (at 90% confidence). Neither black holes nor neutron stars are expected to form below ∼1M⊙ through conventional stellar evolution, though it has been proposed that similarly low mass black holes could be formed primordially through density fluctuations in the early Universe and contribute to the dark matter density. The interpretation of our constraints in the primordial black hole dark matter paradigm is highly model dependent; however, under a particular primordial black hole binary formation scenario we constrain monochromatic primordial black hole populations of 0.2M⊙ to be less than 33% of the total dark matter density and monochromatic populations of 1.0M⊙ to be less than 5% of the dark matter density. The latter strengthens the presently placed bounds from microlensing surveys of massive compact halo objects (MACHOs) provided by the MACHO and EROS Collaborations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:subsolar mass, ultracompact binaries, LIGO, gravitational waves
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Astronomical sciences
Research Field:General relativity and gravitational waves
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Siellez, K (Dr Karelle Siellez)
ID Code:151970
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:52
Deposited By:Physics
Deposited On:2022-08-09
Last Modified:2022-09-27

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