First LIGO search for gravitational wave bursts from cosmic(super)strings

Abbott, B.P. and Lockerbie, N.A. and Tokmakov, K. V., LIGO Scientific Collaboration (2009) First LIGO search for gravitational wave bursts from cosmic(super)strings. Physical Review D: Particles and Fields, 80 (6). ISSN 0556-2821 (

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We report on a matched-filter search for gravitational wave bursts from cosmic string cusps using LIGO data from the fourth science run (S4) which took place in February and March 2005. No gravitational waves were detected in 14.9 days of data from times when all three LIGO detectors were operating. We interpret the result in terms of a frequentist upper limit on the rate of gravitational wave bursts and use the limits on the rate to constrain the parameter space (string tension, reconnection probability, and loop sizes) of cosmic string models. Many grand unified theory-scale models (with string tension Gμ/c2≈10-6) can be ruled out at 90% confidence for reconnection probabilities p≤10-3 if loop sizes are set by gravitational back reaction.