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Title:
Gravitational Waves and gamma -Ray Bursts
Authors:
Kochanek, Christopher S.; Piran, Tsvi
Affiliation:
AA(Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA, US), AB(Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA, US)
Publication:
Astrophysical Journal Letters v.417, p.L17 (ApJL Homepage)
Publication Date:
11/1993
Origin:
APJ; KNUDSEN
Astronomy Keywords:
GAMMA RAYS: BURSTS, GRAVITATION, STARS: NEUTRON
DOI:
10.1086/187083
Bibliographic Code:
1993ApJ...417L..17K

Abstract

Coalescing binaries in distant galaxies are one of the most promising sources of gravitational waves detectable by the LIGO project.$^{[1-5]}$ They are also a copious source of neutrinos,$^{[1]}$ however these neutrino pulses are far too weak to be detected on earth. Several years ago Eichler \etal$\,$$^{[6]}$ suggested that they are also sources of $\gamma$-ray bursts (GRBs). Recently it was found$^{[7]}$ that GRBs are likely to be cosmological in origin, and coalescing binary systems$^{[6,8-11]}$ are probably the most promising cosmological sources. The current estimates of the burst and LIGO rates from a cosmologically distributed population are based on the systems observed in our galaxy.$^{[12-14]}$ These estimates are based on only three binarys so there are large statistical uncertainties in the coalescence rate. If we accept the cosmological/coalescing binary hypothesis for GRBs, then we get a more accurate estimate of the rate at which binaries coalesce and hence of the predicted LIGO signal. The association between GRBs and binaries can significantly improve the performance of LIGO. The detection of gravitational radiation from a GRB source not only confirms the coalescing binary model, but it will also provide information on the geometry and energy generation mechanism of the burst.

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