FUNA Lunch Talk:

Andrea Lommen

Franklin and Marshall College

Pulsar Timing Arrays: No longer a blunt instrument for Gravitational Wave Detection

September 19

12:10PM, Room 230, NRAO, Edgemont Road


The limits that pulsar timing places on the energy density of gravitational waves in the universe are on the brink of limiting models of galaxy formation and have already placed limits on the tension of cosmic strings. Pulsar timing has traditionally focused on stochastic sources, but recent research has demonstrated that pulsar timing will (1) offer a rich variety of information on individual gravitational wave sources including waveform, direction and luminosity distance, and test alternative theories of gravity. In other words, pulsar timing is a shrewd and versatile gravitational wave detection instrument. I've also become interested in how we can optimize the experiment, much like you would do if you had an experiment well-contained on a light table. We can't change the intensity of the pulsar emission, or its location, but what can we change? [*Note this talk will be at 1:30pm, NOT 12:10]