Low-frequency gravitational waves from white dwarf MACHO binaries

William A. Hiscock*, Shane L. Larson, Joshua R. Routzahn, Ben Kulick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The possibility that Galactic halo MACHOs are white dwarfs has recently attracted much attention. Using the known properties of white dwarf binaries in the Galactic disk as a model, we estimate the possible contribution of halo white dwarf binaries to the low-frequency (10-5 Hz < f < 10-1 Hz) gravitational wave background. Assuming the fraction of white dwarfs in binaries is the same in the halo as in the disk, we find the confusion background from halo white dwarf binaries could be 5 times stronger than the expected contribution from Galactic disk binaries, dominating the response of the proposed space-based interferometer LISA. Low-frequency gravitational wave observations will be the key to discovering the nature of the dark MACHO binary population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L5-L8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2000


  • Dark matter
  • Gravitation
  • White dwarfs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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