Gravitational wave astronomy
We are entering a new era of gravitational-wave astronomy. The ground-based interferometers have reached their initial design sensitivity in the audio band. Several upper limits have been set for anticipated astrophysical sources from the science data. The advanced detectors in the US and in Europe are expected to be operational around 2015. New advanced detectors are also planned in Japan and in India. The first direct detections of gravitational waves are expected within this decade. In the meanwhile, three pulsar timing array projects are forming an international collaboration to detect gravitational waves directly in the nanoHertz range using timing data from millisecond pulsars. The first direct detection of nanoHertz gravitational waves are also expected within this decade. In this paper, we review the status of current gravitational-wave detectors, possible types of sources, observational upper limits achieved, and future prospects for direct detection of gravitational waves. © 2013 Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.