Constraints on cosmic strings from the LIGO-virgo gravitational-wave detectors

Aasi, J. and Lockerbie, N. A. and Tokmakov, K. V., LIGO Scientific Collaboration, Virgo Collaboration (2014) Constraints on cosmic strings from the LIGO-virgo gravitational-wave detectors. Physical Review Letters, 112 (13). 131101. ISSN 0031-9007

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    Cosmic strings can give rise to a large variety of interesting astrophysical phenomena. Among them, powerful bursts of gravitational waves (GWs) produced by cusps are a promising observational signature. In this Letter we present a search for GWs from cosmic string cusps in data collected by the LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave detectors between 2005 and 2010, with over 625 days of live time. We find no evidence of GW signals from cosmic strings. From this result, we derive new constraints on cosmic string parameters, which complement and improve existing limits from previous searches for a stochastic background of GWs from cosmic microwave background measurements and pulsar timing data. In particular, if the size of loops is given by the gravitational backreaction scale, we place upper limits on the string tension G mu below 10-8 in some regions of the cosmic string parameter space.