The stochastic background of gravitational waves due to the f-mode instability in neutron stars

M. Surace, K. D. Kokkotas, P. Pnigouras

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This paper presents an estimate for the spectral properties of the stochastic background of gravitational waves emitted by a population of hot, young, rapidly rotating neutron stars throughout the Universe undergoing f-mode instabilities, formed through either core-collapse supernova explosions or the merger of binary neutron star systems. Their formation rate, from which the gravitational wave event rate is obtained, is deduced from observation-based determinations of the cosmic star formation rate. The gravitational wave emission occurs during the spin-down phase of the f-mode instability. For low magnetized neutron stars and assuming 10% of supernova events lead to f-mode unstable neutron stars, the background from supernova-derived neutron stars peaks at Ωgw ∼ 10-9 for the l = m = 2f-mode, which should be detectable by cross-correlating a pair of second generation interferometers (e.g. Advanced LIGO/Virgo) with an upper estimate for the signal-to-noise ratio of ? 9.8. The background from supramassive neutron stars formed from binary mergers peaks at Ωgw ∼ 10-10 and should not be detectable, even with third generation interferometers (e.g. Einstein Telescope).

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA86
Number of pages8
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2016


  • Cosmology: miscellaneous
  • Gravitational waves
  • Stars: neutron
  • Stars: oscillations


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