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Gravitational-Wave Astronomy in the 2020s and Beyond: A View Across the Gravitational Wave SpectrumOne of the most notable developments since the 2010 Decadal Survey is the addition of gravitationalwaves (GW) to the astronomers' suite of tools for understanding the Universe. LIGO's2015 detection of gravitational waves (Abbott et al. 2016) from the merger of a pair of black holesroughly 30 times the mass of our Sun garnered tremendous excitement from both the public andthe scientific community and raised interesting questions as to the origin of such systems. To datea total of 11 confirmed detections have been announced, including the first GW signals from themerger of neutron stars in 2017 seen by LIGO and Virgo (Abbott et al. 2017). That event wasassociated with a gamma ray burst; the subsequent kilonovae and afterglow was perhaps the mostthoroughly-observed astronomical event of all time (Abbott et al. 2017b). In the coming decades,with continued investment, the ground-based network will continue to improve in both the numberand sensitivity of detectors at high frequencies, pulsar timing arrays such as NANOGrav willuncover stochastic sources of gravitational waves and then single sources at low frequencies, andLISA will begin to probe the mid-frequency band from space. In this white paper, we presenta broad outline of the scientific impact of these facilities in the coming decade and the 2030s,emphasizing the ways in which
Document ID
Document Type
Shoemaker, David
(Massachusetts Inst. of Technology Boston, MA, United States)
McLaughlin, Maura
(West Virginia Univ. Fairmont, WV, United States)
Thorpe, James I.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
April 11, 2019
Publication Date
March 20, 2019
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Use by or on behalf of the US Gov. Permitted.
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