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First search for nontensorial gravitational waves from known pulsars


Abbott, BP and Abbott, R and Siellez, K and Weltevrede, P, LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration, First search for nontensorial gravitational waves from known pulsars, Physical Review Letters, 120, (3) Article 031104. ISSN 0031-9007 (2018) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.031104


We present results from the first directed search for nontensorial gravitational waves. While general relativity allows for tensorial (plus and cross) modes only, a generic metric theory may, in principle, predict waves with up to six different polarizations. This analysis is sensitive to continuous signals of scalar, vector, or tensor polarizations, and does not rely on any specific theory of gravity. After searching data from the first observation run of the advanced LIGO detectors for signals at twice the rotational frequency of 200 known pulsars, we find no evidence of gravitational waves of any polarization. We report the first upper limits for scalar and vector strains, finding values comparable in magnitude to previously published limits for tensor strain. Our results may be translated into constraints on specific alternative theories of gravity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Nontensorial gravitational waves, Known pulsars, gravitational waves, LIGO
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:151985
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:56
Deposited By:Physics
Deposited On:2022-08-09
Last Modified:2022-08-09

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