R. Abbott, California Institute of Technology
T. D. Abbott, Louisiana State University
S. Abraham, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics India
F. Acernese, Università degli Studi di Salerno
K. Ackley, Monash University
A. Adams, Christopher Newport University
C. Adams, LIGO Livingston
R. X. Adhikari, California Institute of Technology
V. B. Adya, The Australian National University
C. Affeldt, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute)
D. Agarwal, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics India
M. Agathos, University of Cambridge
K. Agatsuma, University of Birmingham
N. Aggarwal, Northwestern University
O. D. Aguiar, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais
L. Aiello, Cardiff University
A. Ain, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Pisa
P. Ajith, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai
T. Akutsu, National Institutes of Natural Sciences - National Astronomical Observatory of Japan
K. M. Aleman, California State University, Fullerton
G. Allen, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
A. Allocca, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Napoli
P. A. Altin, The Australian National University
A. Amato, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1
S. Anand, California Institute of Technology
A. Ananyeva, California Institute of Technology
S. B. Anderson, California Institute of Technology
W. G. Anderson, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
M. Ando, The University of Tokyo
S. V. Angelova, University of Strathclyde
S. Ansoldi, Università degli Studi di Udine
J. M. Antelis, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott
S. Antier, Université de Paris

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We search for gravitational-wave signals produced by cosmic strings in the Advanced LIGO and Virgo full O3 dataset. Search results are presented for gravitational waves produced by cosmic string loop features such as cusps, kinks, and, for the first time, kink-kink collisions. A template-based search for short-duration transient signals does not yield a detection. We also use the stochastic gravitational-wave background energy density upper limits derived from the O3 data to constrain the cosmic string tension Gμ as a function of the number of kinks, or the number of cusps, for two cosmic string loop distribution models. Additionally, we develop and test a third model that interpolates between these two models. Our results improve upon the previous LIGO-Virgo constraints on Gμ by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude depending on the model that is tested. In particular, for the one-loop distribution model, we set the most competitive constraints to date: Gμ≲4×10-15. In the case of cosmic strings formed at the end of inflation in the context of grand unified theories, these results challenge simple inflationary models.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Physical Review Letters