Gravitational-wave asteroseismology with fundamental modes from compact binary inspirals

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Gravitational waves (GWs) from binary neutron stars encode unique information about ultra-dense matter through characterisic signatures associated with a variety of phenomena including tidal effects during the inspiral. The main tidal signature depends predominantly on the equation of state (EoS)-related tidal deformability parameter Λ, but at late times is also characterised by the frequency of the star's fundamental oscillation mode (f-mode). In General Relativity and for nuclear matter, Λ and the f-modes are related by universal relations which may not hold for alternative theories of gravity or exotic matter. Independently measuring Λ and the f-mode frequency enables tests of gravity and the nature of compact binaries. Here we present directly measured constraints on the f-mode frequencies of the companions of GW170817. We also show that future GW detector networks will measure f-mode frequencies to within tens of Hz, enabling precision GW asteroseismology with binary inspiral signals alone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2553
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Alberto Vecchio, Ben Farr and Guy Davies for useful discussions and comments on the manuscript, and Denis Martynov and Haixing Miao for providing us with the sensitivity curve used in Fig. 2. G.P. acknowledges support from the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sport grant FPU15/03344, the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness grants FPA2016-76821-P, the Agencia estatal de Investigación, the RED CONSOLIDER CPAN FPA2017-90687-REDC, RED CONSOLIDER MULTIDARK: Multimessenger Approach for Dark Matter Detection, FPA2017-90566-REDC, Red nacional de astropartículas (RENATA), FPA2015-68783-REDT, European Union FEDER funds, Vicepresidència i Conselleria d’Innovació, Recerca i Turisme, Conselleria d’Educació, i Universitats del Govern de les Illes Balears i Fons Social Europeu, Gravitational waves, black holes and fundamental physics. P.S. acknowledges support from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) Veni grant no. 680-47-460. T.H. acknowledges support from the DeltaITP and NWO Projectruimte grant GW-EM NS. This research has made use of data, software and/or web tools obtained from the Gravitational Wave Open Science Center14, a service of LIGO Laboratory, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration. LIGO is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation. Virgo is funded by the French Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the Italian Istituto Nazionale della Fisica Nucleare (INFN) and the Dutch Nikhef, with contributions by Polish and Hungarian institutes. The authors are grateful for computational resources provided by the LIGO Laboratory— Caltech Computing Cluster and supported by the National Science Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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