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Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology with Gravitational Waves

, 1 , 1 , 2

Living Reviews in Relativity

Springer International Publishing

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      Abstract

      Gravitational wave detectors are already operating at interesting sensitivity levels, and they have an upgrade path that should result in secure detections by 2014. We review the physics of gravitational waves, how they interact with detectors (bars and interferometers), and how these detectors operate. We study the most likely sources of gravitational waves and review the data analysis methods that are used to extract their signals from detector noise. Then we consider the consequences of gravitational wave detections and observations for physics, astrophysics, and cosmology.

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      Observational Evidence from Supernovae for an Accelerating Universe and a Cosmological Constant

      We present observations of 10 type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) between 0.16 0) and a current acceleration of the expansion (i.e., q_0 0, the spectroscopically confirmed SNe Ia are consistent with q_0 0 at the 3.0 sigma and 4.0 sigma confidence levels, for two fitting methods respectively. Fixing a ``minimal'' mass density, Omega_M=0.2, results in the weakest detection, Omega_Lambda>0 at the 3.0 sigma confidence level. For a flat-Universe prior (Omega_M+Omega_Lambda=1), the spectroscopically confirmed SNe Ia require Omega_Lambda >0 at 7 sigma and 9 sigma level for the two fitting methods. A Universe closed by ordinary matter (i.e., Omega_M=1) is ruled out at the 7 sigma to 8 sigma level. We estimate the size of systematic errors, including evolution, extinction, sample selection bias, local flows, gravitational lensing, and sample contamination. Presently, none of these effects reconciles the data with Omega_Lambda=0 and q_0 > 0.
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        Measurements of Omega and Lambda from 42 High-Redshift Supernovae

        We report measurements of the mass density, Omega_M, and cosmological-constant energy density, Omega_Lambda, of the universe based on the analysis of 42 Type Ia supernovae discovered by the Supernova Cosmology Project. The magnitude-redshift data for these SNe, at redshifts between 0.18 and 0.83, are fit jointly with a set of SNe from the Calan/Tololo Supernova Survey, at redshifts below 0.1, to yield values for the cosmological parameters. All SN peak magnitudes are standardized using a SN Ia lightcurve width-luminosity relation. The measurement yields a joint probability distribution of the cosmological parameters that is approximated by the relation 0.8 Omega_M - 0.6 Omega_Lambda ~= -0.2 +/- 0.1 in the region of interest (Omega_M 0) = 99%, including the identified systematic uncertainties. The best-fit age of the universe relative to the Hubble time is t_0 = 14.9{+1.4,-1.1} (0.63/h) Gyr for a flat cosmology. The size of our sample allows us to perform a variety of statistical tests to check for possible systematic errors and biases. We find no significant differences in either the host reddening distribution or Malmquist bias between the low-redshift Calan/Tololo sample and our high-redshift sample. The conclusions are robust whether or not a width-luminosity relation is used to standardize the SN peak magnitudes.
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          Theory of cosmological perturbations

           V. Mukhanov (1992)
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
            [2 ]Albert Einstein Institute, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, Potsdam-Golm, Germany
            Contributors
            B.Sathyaprakash@astro.cf.ac.uk
            Bernard.Schutz@aei.mpg.de
            Journal
            Living Rev Relativ
            Living Rev Relativ
            Living Reviews in Relativity
            Springer International Publishing (Cham )
            1433-8351
            4 March 2009
            4 March 2009
            2009
            : 12
            : 1
            5255530 2 10.12942/lrr-2009-2
            © The Author(s) 2009
            Categories
            Review Article
            Custom metadata
            © The Author(s) 2009

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