Detecting Gravitational Waves with Millisecond Pulsars

Millisecond
spin-period radio pulsars provide us with unique astronomical
"laboratories" for exploring fundamental physics in a variety of ways
-- from the physics of matter at super-nuclear density, to experimental tests
of gravity. They have also provided the only experimental evidence so far for
the existence of gravitational waves (GW).  A set of millisecond pulsars
acting as precise astronomical clocks may also be used as a direct GW detector,
sensitive to the nanohertz-frequency GW expected to be emitted by supermassive
black hole binary systems or other more exotic sources.  In this talk I
will present the project status and recent GW upper limits from the NANOGrav
project.  I will also discuss expected near-future improvements in the
measurement, including recent work aimed at better characterizing and
mitigating the effect of multi-path propagation effects in the interstellar
medium.


Event Type: 
Seminar
Collection/Series: 
Scientific Area(s): 
Speaker(s): 
Event Date: 
Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 13:00 to 14:30
Location: 
Space Room