Bounding the Speed of Gravity with Gravitational Wave Observations

Authors

Neil Cornish, Diego Blas, Germano Nardini

Publication

Physical Review Letters

Abstract

The time delay between gravitational wave signals arriving at widely separated detectors can be used to place upper and lower bounds on the speed of gravitationalwave propagation. Using aBayesian approach that combines the first three gravitational wave detections reported by the LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaborations we constrain the gravitational waves propagation speed c(gw) to the 90% credible interval 0.55c < c(gw) < 1.42c, where c is the speed of light in vacuum. These bounds will improve as more detections are made and as more detectors join the worldwide network. Of order 20 detections by the two LIGO detectors will constrain the speed of gravity to within 20% of the speed of light, while just five detections by the LIGO-Virgo-Kagra network will constrain the speed of gravity to within 1% of the speed of light.

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