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Coorperations
Max-Planck-Institut für Gravitationsphysik, Leibniz Universität Hannover, University of Glasgow, Cardiff University,
University of Birmingham, Universitat de les Illes Balears, University of Cambridge, University of Sheffield
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First Results

The direct detection of gravitational waves is an issue that necessitates worldwide cooperation. Only a network of detectors provides accurate information on the observables and gives confidence in a claimed detection.

The LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) was founded in 1997 as a forum for organizing research, publication and all other scientific activities in graviational wave research. In 2009 the LSC and the Virgo Collaboration agreed to work together. At present the LSC-Virgo Collaboration comprises about 800 scientists from about 80 institutes all over the world.

In the Fall of 2002 a first common data run (S1) between all three LIGO detectors and GEO600 was undertaken consisting of 17 days of mostly uninterrupted operation. Since the detectors had not yet achieved the designed sensitivity, the aim was rather to rehearse data acquisition and data analysis.

The results of the analysis of the first data run S1 have been published in 2004 in the Physical Review D. No gravitational waves have been detected, but in all cases new upper limits have been stablished. The papers are also available at the arXiv Preprint Server.

  • Detector Description and Performance for the First Coincidence Observations between LIGO and GEO
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Nucl. Instrum. Meth. Phys. Res. A 517 (2004) 154 - 179
  • Analysis of LIGO data for gravitational waves from binary neutron stars
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 69 (2004) 122001 [16 pp]
  • Setting Upper Limits on the Strength of Periodic GW from PSR J1939 + 2134 Using the First Science Data from the GEO600 and LIGO Detectors
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 69 (2004) 082004 [16 pp]
  • First upper limits from LIGO on gravitational wave bursts
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 69 (2004) 102001 [21 pp]
  • Analysis of LIGO Data for Stochastic Gravitational Waves
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 69 (2004) 122004 [24 pp]
  • Limits on Gravitational-Wave Emission from Selected Pulsars Using LIGO Data
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. Lett. 94 (2005) 181103 [6 pp]

The results of the analysis of the second data run S2 have been published in 2005 in the Physical Review D.

  • Search for gravitational waves associated with the gamma ray burst GRB030329 using the LIGO detectors
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 72 (2005) 042002 [17 pp]
  • Upper limits on gravitational wave bursts in LIGO's second science run
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 72 (2005) 062001 [25 pp]
  • Search for gravitational waves from galactic and extra-galactic binary neutron stars
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 72 (2005) 082001 [22 pp]
  • Search for gravitational waves from primordial black hole binary coalescences in the galactic halo
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 72 (2005) 082002 [8 pp]
  • First all-sky upper limits from LIGO on the strength of periodic gravitational waves using the Hough transform
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 72 (2005) 102004 [22 pp]
  • Upper limits from LIGO and TAMA detectors on the rate of gravitational-wave bursts
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 72 (2005) 122004 [16 pp]
  • Limits on gravitational-wave emission from selected pulsars using LIGO data
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. Lett. 94 (2005) 181103 [6 pp]

The third LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) science run, S3, was performed between November 1st 2003 and January 9th 2004. The commissioning work produced a stably-locking DRMI only about two weeks before the start of S3, and thus left little time for testing and sensitivity optimization. Therefore it was decided that GEO600 would run for about one week, near the beginning of S3, then go offline to allow time to improve the sensitivity and stability of the detector, and finally rejoin the run.

Thus, the GEO600 S3 science run was divided into two separate periods of time, having somewhat different interferometer configurations and sensitivities. The first ran from November 5th through 11th, and the second, from December 30th to January 13th (a few days after the end of the LSC S3). We refer to these as S3 I and S3 II respectively.

The first publications on the S3 run:

  • Upper limits on a stochastic background of gravitational waves
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. Lett. 95 (2005) 221101 [6 pp]
  • Search for Gravitational Wave Bursts in LIGO's Third Science Run
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Class. Quantum Grav. 23 (2006) S29-S39
  • A joint search for gravitational wave bursts with AURIGA and LIGO
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Class. Quantum Grav. 25 (2008) 095004 [18 p]
  • Search of S3 LIGO data for gravitational wave signals from spinning black hole and neutron star binary inspirals
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 78 (2008) 042002 [19 p]

The S4 run was performed during March 2005. Publications on the S4 run:

  • Searching for a stochastic background of gravitational waves with the laser interferometer gravitational-wave observatory
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC) Ap. J. 659 (2007) 918 - 930
  • Upper limit map of a background of gravitational waves
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 76 (2007) 082003 [11 p]
  • First Cross-Correlation Analysis of Interferometric and Resonant-Bar Gravitational-Wave Data for Stochastic Backgrounds
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 76 (2007) 022001 [17 p]
  • Search for gravitational waves from binary inspirals in S3 and S4 LIGO data
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 77 (2008) 062002 [12 p]
  • First joint search for gravitational-wave bursts in LIGO and GEO600 data
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Class. Quantum Grav. 25 (2008) 245008 [21 p]
  • Search for gravitational waves associated with 39 gamma-ray bursts using data from the second, third, and fourth LIGO run
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 77 (2008) 062004 [23 p]
  • All-sky search for periodic gravitational waves in LIGO S4 data
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 77 (2008) 022001 [39 p]
  • Einstein@Home search for periodic gravitational waves in LIGO S4 data
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 79 (2009) 02200 [29 pp]

By the third quarter of 2005 the gravitational wave detectors reached the design sensitivity. On November 4, 2005 LIGO started the S5 science run which ended on September 30, 2007. GEO600 joined S5 from May to October 2006; Virgo joined from May 18, 2007 to the end of S5 ("S5/VSR1"). Publications on the S5 run:

  • Implications for the origin of GRB 070201 from LIGO observations
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Astrophys. J. 681 (2008) 1419 [10 p]
  • Search for Gravitational Wave Bursts from Soft Gamma Repeaters
    B. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. Lett. 101 (2008) 211102 [6 p]
  • All-Sky LIGO Search for Periodic Gravitational Waves in the Early Fifth-Science-Run Data
    B.P. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. Lett. 102 (2009) 111102 [6 pp]
  • Search for gravitational waves from low mass binary coalescences in the first year of LIGO's S5 data
    B.P. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 79 (2009) 122001 [14 pp]
  • Search for high frequency gravitational-wave bursts in the first calendar year of LIGO's fifth science run
    B.P. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 80 (2009) 102002 [14 pp]
  • Search for gravitational-wave bursts in the first year of the fifth LIGO science run
    B.P. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 80 (2009) 102001 [26 pp]
  • First LIGO search for gravitational wave bursts from cosmic (super)strings
    B.P. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 80 (2009) 062002 [11 pp]
  • Einstein@Home search for periodic gravitational waves in early S5 LIGO data
    B.P. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 80 (2009) 042003 [14 pp]
  • Search for gravitational waves from low mass compact binary coalescence in 186 days of LIGO's fifth science run
    B.P. Abbott et al. (LSC), Phys. Rev. D 80 (2009) 047101 [8 pp]
  • An upper limit on the stochastic gravitational-wave background of cosmological origin
    B.P. Abbott et al. (LSC, Virgo), Nature 460 (2009) 990 - 994
  • Searches for gravitational waves from known pulsars with S5 LIGO data
    B.P. Abbott et al. (LIGO, Virgo), Ap. J. 713 (2010) 671 - 685
  • Search for gravitational-wave bursts associated with gamma-ray bursts using data from LIGO Science Run 5 and Virgo Science Run 1
    B.P. Abbott et al. (LIGO, Virgo), Ap. J. 715 (2010) 1438 - 1452
  • Search for gravitational-wave inspiral signals associated with short Gamma-Ray Bursts during LIGO's fifth and Virgo's first science run
    J. Abadie et al. (LIGO, Virgo), Ap. J. 715 (2010) 1453 - 1461
  • All-sky search for gravitational-wave bursts in the first joint LIGO-GEO-Virgo run
    J. Abadie et al. (LIGO, Virgo), Phys. Rev. D 81 (2010) 102001 [20 pp]

The LIGO detectors operated from July 7, 2009 to October 20, 2010 in their sixth science run (S6). The Virgo detector joined from July 7, 2009 to January 8, 2010 (VSR2) and again from August 11 to October 20, 2010 (VSR3). The results of these runs:

  • Implementation and testing of the first prompt search for gravitational wave transients with electromagnetic counterparts
    J. Abadie et al. (LIGO, Virgo), Astron. Astrophys. 539 (2012) A124 [15 pp]
  • Search for Gravitational Waves from Low Mass Compact Binary Coalescence in LIGO's Sixth Science Run and Virgo's Science Runs 2 and 3
    J. Abadie et al. (LIGO, Virgo), Phys. Rev. D 85 (2012) 082002 [12 pp]
  • First Low-Latency LIGO+Virgo Search for Binary Inspirals and their Electromagnetic Counterparts
    J. Abadie et al. (LIGO, Virgo), Astron. Astrophys. 541 (2012) A155 []
  • Swift Follow-Up Observations Of Candidate Gravitational-Wave Transient Events
    P.A. Evans et al., Ap. J. Suppl. 203 (2012) 28 [14 pp]
  • Search for gravitational waves associated with gamma-ray bursts during LIGO science run 6 and Virgo science run 2 and 3
    J. Abadie et al. (LIGO, Virgo), Ap. J. 760 (2012) 12 [18 pp]
  • Search for Gravitational Waves from Binary Black Hole Inspiral, Merger and Ringdown in LIGO-Virgo Data from 2009-2010
    J. Aasi et al. (LIGO, Virgo), Phys. Rev. D 87 (2013) 022002 [15 pp]
  • Parameter estimation for compact binary coalescence signals with the first generation gravitational wave detector network
    J. Aasi et al. (LIGO, Virgo), Phys. Rev. D 88 (2013) 062001 [24 pp]

From June through August 2011, Virgo and GEO joined for a last data taking run (VSR4 / S6e) with roughly equal sensitivity in the kHz range. This was the last joint run until about 2015 when Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo go back online after upgrading. Until then, GEO600 will remain in Astrowatch continuous data taking mode, only occasionally interrupted by breaks for service and small further upgrades.