LIGO Document G2200241-v2

LVK webinar slides: Searching for continuous gravitational waves from unknown sources

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On Thursday 24 February 2022, at 10:00am Eastern US, the LIGO-Virgo-KAGRA Collaboration will host an online webinar entitled “Searching for continuous gravitational waves from unknown sources” at which we will motivate and present the latest searches for such sources in the LIGO and Virgo data from the third observing run.

Observing sources of continuous, almost monochromatic, gravitational waves represents one of the next major goals in gravitational-wave astronomy. The primary source would be rapidly-rotating individual neutron stars in our Galaxy, with the signal generated due to a distortion of the star from symmetry about its axes. Observations of these would be a vital probe for the study of matter at the extreme densities only present in neutron stars. However, other more exotic sources of continuous signals could include certain forms of dark matter; axions (a form of bosonic dark matter) could form clouds around black holes and generate continuous GWs; while dark equivalents of the photon could induce a signal in the GW detectors themselves. While generally intrinsically weaker than the transient GW signals observed from coalescing compact objects, searches for continuous signals can build up sensitivity by using long stretches of GW data. In this talk we will give the motivation for, and describe, the latest searches for continuous GW from unknown sources using LIGO and Virgo data from the third observing run. These provide the most stringent limits yet obtained for such signals and these limits will be put in an astrophysical context. We will also look to the future for prospects of CW searches in upcoming observing campaigns.

A recording will be made available on our YouTube channel:

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