Invited Review

The astrophysical gravitational wave stochastic background

Tania Regimbau


Abstract A stochastic background of gravitational waves with astrophysical origins may have resulted from the superposition of a large number of unresolved sources since the beginning of stellar activity. Its detection would put very strong constraints on the physical properties of compact objects, the initial mass function and star formation history. On the other hand, it could be a 'noise' that would mask the stochastic background of its cosmological origin. We review the main astrophysical processes which are able to produce a stochastic background and discuss how they may differ from the primordial contribution in terms of statistical properties. Current detection methods are also presented.


Keywords gravitational waves — stochastic background: neutron stars — black holes

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