Gravitational waves from hot young rapidly rotating neutron stars

Benjamin J. Owen, Lee Lindblom, Curt Cutler, Bernard F. Schutz, Alberto Vecchio, Nils Andersson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

359 Scopus citations


Gravitational radiation drives an instability in the [Formula Presented]-modes of young rapidly rotating neutron stars. This instability is expected to carry away most of the angular momentum of the star by gravitational radiation emission, leaving a star rotating at about 100 Hz. In this paper we model in a simple way the development of the instability and evolution of the neutron star during the year-long spindown phase. This allows us to predict the general features of the resulting gravitational waveform. We show that a neutron star formed in the Virgo cluster could be detected by the LIGO and VIRGO gravitational wave detectors when they reach their “enhanced” level of sensitivity, with an amplitude signal-to-noise ratio that could be as large as about 8 if near-optimal data analysis techniques are developed. We also analyze the stochastic background of gravitational waves produced by the [Formula Presented]-mode radiation from neutron-star formation throughout the universe. Assuming a substantial fraction of neutron stars are born with spin frequencies near their maximum values, this stochastic background is shown to have an energy density of about [Formula Presented] of the cosmological closure density, in the range 20 Hz to 1 kHz. This radiation should be detectable by “advanced” LIGO as well.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1998


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