LIGO Document T1900354-v1

Digging deeper: finding sub-threshold compact binary merger events in LIGO data

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T - Technical notes
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The LIGO and Virgo detectors have been observing the gravitational wave sky since 2015. In their first and second observing runs (O1 and O2), they detected 10 GW signals from binary black hole (BBH) mergers, and one from a binary neutron star (BNS) merger, all with high significance (low probability of being due to instrumental noise fluctuations). Already in the first two weeks of O3, which began in April 2019, two BBH signals have been seen with high significance. In addition, tens of events were seen with lower significance, as determined by the search pipelines (PyCBC and gstlal). Are they real GW events, or instrumental noise fluctuations? The information obtainable from the search pipelines, which sift through months of data, are insufficient to tell. In this project we explore the use of additional tools, based on Bayesian model selection (which are far too compute-intensive to run on months of data) and signal coherence to better discriminate real signals from instrumental noise backgrounds. We aim to increase the number of significant detected events, in order to better understand the population of BBH systems in the distant universe.
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Sierra Garza SURF19 project material

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