The currently accepted model for gamma-ray burst phenomena involves the violent formation of a rapidly rotating solar-mass black hole. Gravitational waves should be associated with the black-hole formation, and their detection would permit this model to be tested. Even upper limits on the gravitational-wave strength associated with gamma-ray bursts could constrain the gamma-ray burst model. This requires joint observations of gamma-ray burst events with gravitational and gamma-ray detectors. Here we examine how the quality of an upper limit on the gravitational-wave strength associated with gamma-ray bursts depends on the relative orientation of the gamma-ray-burst and gravitational-wave detectors, and apply our results to the particular case of the Swift Burst-Alert Telescope (BAT) and the LIGO gravitational-wave detectors. A result of this investigation is a science-based 'figure of merit' that can be used, together with other mission constraints, to optimize the pointing of the Swift telescope for the detection of gravitational waves associated with gamma-ray bursts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)