LIGO Document P2000506-v20

Constraints on cosmic strings using data from the third Advanced LIGO-Virgo observing run

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P - Publications
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We search for gravitational-wave signals produced by cosmic strings in the Advanced LIGO and Virgo full O3 data set. Search results are presented for gravitational waves produced by cosmic string loop features such as cusps, kinks and, for the first time, kink-kink collisions. A template-based search for short-duration transient signals does not yield a detection. We also use the stochastic gravitational-wave background energy density upper limits derived from the O3 data to constrain the cosmic string tension, \(G\mu\), as a function of the number of kinks, or the number of cusps, for two cosmic string loop distribution models. Additionally, we develop and test a third model which interpolates between these two models. Our results improve upon the previous LIGO-Virgo constraints on \(G\mu\) by one to two orders of magnitude depending on the model which is tested. In particular, for the one-loop distribution model, we set the most competitive constraints to date, \(G\mu \lesssim 4 \times 10^{-15}\). In the case of cosmic strings formed at the end of inflation in the context of Grand Unified Theories, these results challenge simple inflationary models.
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