The first detection of a binary neutron star merger, GW170817, and an associated short gamma-ray burst confirmed that neutron star mergers are responsible for at least some of these bursts. The prompt gamma ray emission from these events is thought to be highly relativistically beamed. We present a method for inferring limits on the extent of this beaming by comparing the number of short gamma-ray bursts observed electromagnetically to the number of neutron star binary mergers detected in gravitational waves. We demonstrate that an observing run comparable to the expected Advanced LIGO 2016–2017 run would be capable of placing limits on the beaming angle of approximately $\theta \in (2.88^\circ,14.15^\circ)$, given one binary neutron star detection. We anticipate that after a year of observations with Advanced LIGO at design sensitivity in 2020 these constraints would improve to $\theta \in (8.10^\circ,14.95^\circ)$.
D. Williams, J. Clark, A. Williamson, et. al.
Fri, 8 Dec 17
Comments: 11 pages with 10 figures