LIGO Document P1200104-v4

Gravitational waves from known pulsars: results from the initial detector era

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We present the results of searches for gravitational waves from a large selection of pulsars using data from the most recent science runs (S6, VSR2 and VSR4) of the initial generation of interferometric gravitational wave detectors LIGO (Laser Interferometric Gravitational-wave Observatory) and Virgo. We do not see evidence for gravitational wave emission from any of the targeted sources but produce upper limits on the emission amplitude. We highlight the results from seven young pulsars with large spin-down luminosities. We reach within a factor of five of the canonical spin-down limit for all seven of these, whilst for the Crab and Vela pulsars we further surpass their spin-down limits. We present new or updated limits for 172 other pulsars (including both young and millisecond pulsars). Now that the detectors are undergoing major upgrades, and, for completeness, we bring together all of the most up-to-date results from all pulsars searched for during the operations of the first-generation LIGO, Virgo and GEO600 detectors. This gives a total of 195 pulsars including the most recent results described in this paper.
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Version submitted to Ap. J.

The gzipped tarball plot_figs_1_and_2.tar.gz contains a python script to recreate figures 1 and 2 from the paper. It contains text files with estimates of the strains from the S3, S4, S5, S6, VSR2 and VSR4 science runs of LIGO and Virgo, and estimates of the Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo strains. It contains a file (spindownlims.txt) listing all pulsars, their GW frequency and their spin-down limit. It finally contains upperlims.txt which lists the observed 95% strain amplitude upper limits for all searched for pulsars. This file can also be used to create the plots in figure 3.

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