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Real-time multi-messenger astronomy with gravitational waves

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The first joint observation in August 2017 of gravitational waves coming from a neutron star inspiral and a gamma ray burst, followed by an optical signal, opened a new chapter of astronomy. Besides confirming binary neutron star mergers as progenitors of short gamma ray bursts, new kinds of measurements have been made, from general relativity tests to independent determination of the Hubble constant. The ongoing work of improving the sensitivity of the LIGO and Virgo detectors should increase the number of observed sources, improving the results and opening new opportunities.

The electromagnetic follow-up program for gravitational waves relies on real time analysis of LIGO and Virgo data followed by alerts that will be public. Its effectiveness is critical to observe the weak and transient electromagnetic counterparts.

The LAPP Virgo group is a major actor in the construction, operation and data analysis of the Virgo detector. Since 2010, the group has been involved in the low latency alert program for binary coalescing systems. This search, on the LIGO and Virgo data, uses the MBTA analysis software developed at LAPP.

The purpose of the internship is to participate to this low latency search program during the "O3" data-taking scheduled to start during the first quarter of 2019, to characterize its performances, to identify and possibly test improvements.

Supervisor : Benoît Mours (mours@lapp.in2p3.fr)

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