Pulsar Timing Arrays: Searching for Low-Frequency Gravitational Waves Using the Most Precise Cosmic Clocks

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Astromeeting Christmas Lecture

Dr. Marta Burgay (INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Cagliari, Italy)

18 Dicembre 2023
11:30, Auditorium E. Capocci


Pulsar Timing Arrays (PTA) employ a Galactic-scale interferometer composed of selected millisecond pulsars to detect low-frequency gravitational waves (GW) generated by coalescing supermassive black-hole binaries. These low-frequency GWs introduce specific perturbations in the radio pulse sequences from all pulsars, which are spatially correlated. This common correlated signal is the primary focus of PTA searches and holds the promise of opening a new window in the GW spectrum, offering a fresh perspective on the study of supermassive black hole binaries. Recently, several worldwide PTA collaborations have independently detected a tantalizing signal that not only appears to be common among all the pulsars but also displays the first indications of the spatial correlation typical of a GW signal. During this seminar, Dr. Burgay will provide an overview of PTA methods and discuss the most recent results.


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