LIGO Document P1200093-v38

A search for long-lived gravitational-wave transients coincident with long gamma-ray bursts

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Long gamma ray bursts (GRBs) have been linked to the extreme core-collapse death of massive stars. Gravitational waves (GW) offer a probe of the physics behind long GRBs. We investigate models of long-lived (∼ 10 − 1000 s) GWs associated with the accretion disk of a collapsed star or with its protoneutron star remnant. Using data from LIGO’s fifth science run, and GRB triggers from the Swift experiment, we perform a search for unmodeled long-lived GW transients. Finding no evidence of a GW signature, we place 90% confidence level upper limits on the GW fluence at the Earth from long GRBs for three waveforms inspired by a model of GWs from accretion disk instabilities. These limits range from F 3.5 ergs cm−2 to F 1200 ergs cm−2, depending on the GRB and on the model, allowing us to probe optimistic scenarios of GW production out to distances as far as ≈ 33 Mpc. Advanced detectors are expected to achieve strain sensitivities 10× better than initial LIGO, potentially allowing us to probe the engines of the nearest long GRBs.
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