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Probability distribution of astrophysical gravitational-wave background fluctuations

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Dong-Gang Wang.

The coalescence of compact binary stars is expected to produce a stochastic background of gravitational waves (GW) observable with future GW detectors. In this talk, I’ll present a method to calculate the full probability distribution of strain fluctuations, which contains more information than the GW energy density (the second moment). I will describe applications both for time series data and a frequency-domain analysis. I’ll illustrate how this probability distribution can be evaluated numerically, and, additionally, derive accurate analytic asymptotic expressions for the large strain tail, demonstrating that it is dominated by the nearest source, and that it exhibits a universal power-law decline. I will also discuss to what extent the background may be treated as Gaussian, and how the accuracy of this approximation varies with frequency.

This talk is part of the Cosmology Lunch series.

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