Search for Subsolar-Mass Ultracompact Binaries in Advanced LIGO's First Observing Run

(LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration)

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We present the first Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo search for ultracompact binary systems with component masses between 0.2 M-1.0 M using data taken between September 12, 2015 and January 19, 2016. We find no viable gravitational wave candidates. Our null result constrains the coalescence rate of monochromatic (delta function) distributions of nonspinning (0.2 M, 0.2 M) ultracompact binaries to be less than 1.0×106 Gpc-3 yr-1 and the coalescence rate of a similar distribution of (1.0 M, 1.0 M) ultracompact binaries to be less than 1.9×104 Gpc-3 yr-1 (at 90% confidence). Neither black holes nor neutron stars are expected to form below ∼1 M through conventional stellar evolution, though it has been proposed that similarly low mass black holes could be formed primordially through density fluctuations in the early Universe and contribute to the dark matter density. The interpretation of our constraints in the primordial black hole dark matter paradigm is highly model dependent; however, under a particular primordial black hole binary formation scenario we constrain monochromatic primordial black hole populations of 0.2 M to be less than 33% of the total dark matter density and monochromatic populations of 1.0 M to be less than 5% of the dark matter density. The latter strengthens the presently placed bounds from microlensing surveys of massive compact halo objects (MACHOs) provided by the MACHO and EROS Collaborations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number231103
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 7 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) for the construction and operation of the LIGO Laboratory and Advanced LIGO as well as the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) of the United Kingdom, the Max-Planck-Society (MPS), and the State of Niedersachsen/Germany for support of the construction of Advanced LIGO and construction and operation of the GEO600 detector. Additional support for Advanced LIGO was provided by the Australian Research Council. The authors gratefully acknowledge the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), and the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, for the construction and operation of the Virgo detector and the creation and support of the EGO consortium. The authors also gratefully acknowledge research support from these agencies as well as by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research of India, the Department of Science and Technology, India, the Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB), India, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, India, the Spanish Agencia Estatal de Investigación, the Vicepresidència i Conselleria d’Innovació, Recerca i Turisme and the Conselleria d’Educació i Universitat del Govern de les Illes Balears, the Conselleria d’Educació, Investigació, Cultura i Esport de la Generalitat Valenciana, the National Science Centre of Poland, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, the Russian Science Foundation, the European Commission, the European Regional Development Funds (ERDF), the Royal Society, the Scottish Funding Council, the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA), the Lyon Institute of Origins (LIO), the Paris Île-de-France Region, the National Research, Development and Innovation Office Hungary (NKFI), the National Research Foundation of Korea, Industry Canada and the Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council Canada, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations, and Communications, the International Center for Theoretical Physics South American Institute for Fundamental Research (ICTP-SAIFR), the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), the Leverhulme Trust, the Research Corporation, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Taiwan and the Kavli Foundation. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the NSF, STFC, MPS, INFN, CNRS and the State of Niedersachsen/Germany for provision of computational resources. Funding for this project was provided by the Charles E. Kaufman Foundation of The Pittsburgh Foundation. Computing resources and personnel for this project were provided by the Pennsylvania State University. This Letter has been assigned the document number LIGO-P1800158-v13.

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