The influence of star formation history on the gravitational wave signal from close double degenerates in the thin disc

Shenghua Yu and C. Simon Jeffery

Figure 1. The contribution of the current DD populations from different star-formation epochs to the gravitational-wave amplitude (log h) in the quasi-exponential star-formation model. Solid (cyan) and broken (magenta) lines represent the eLISA and LAGRANGE sensitivity with S/N=3 for a one year mission, respectively.


The expected gravitational wave (GW) signal due to double degenerates (DDs) in the thin Galactic disc is calculated using a Monte Carlo simulation. The number of young close DDs that will contribute observable discrete signals in the frequency range 1.58−15.8 mHz is estimated by comparison with the sensitivity of proposed GW observatories. The present-day DD population is examined as a function of Galactic star-formation history alone. It is shown that the frequency distribution, in particular, is a sensitive function of the Galactic star formation history and could be used to measure the time since the last major star-formation epoch.

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Last Revised: 2012 November 22nd