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BHI Colloquium

Monday, April 29, 2024
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

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Send Me News from BHI

BHI Colloquium

Maura McLaughlin


Pulsar Timing Arrays: A New Window on the Gravitational Wave Universe

Abstract: Millisecond pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars with phenomenal rotational stability. Pulsar timing arrays world-wide monitor over 100 of these cosmic clocks in order to search for perturbations due to gravitational waves at nanohertz frequencies. The tell-tale sign of a stochastic background of gravitational waves in pulsar timing data is the presence of quadrupolar spatial correlations. Recently, and for the first time ever, pulsar timing array collaborations have found evidence of these spatial correlations in multiple independent pulsar datasets.  The signal is consistent with that expected from an ensemble of supermassive black hole binaries, but could also be attributable to more exotic sources, such as cosmic strings or early universe inflation. I will describe these experiments and the most recent results, in particular highlighting those from the NANOGrav collaboration, and will discuss the increases in sensitivity expected from the combination of data observed with new and existing telescopes across the globe.

Bio: Maura McLaughlin is the Eberly Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy at West Virginia University. She graduated from Penn State, received her PhD from Cornell, was a postdoctoral fellow at the Jodrell Bank Observatory.  She is Co-Director of the NANOGrav Physics Frontiers Center, which aims to characterize the gravitational-wave universe using high-precision timing observations of exotic cosmic clocks called pulsars using the world’s largest radio telescopes. She received the Research Corporation’s Cottrell Scholar Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, an APS Fellowship, the Shaw Prize in Astronomy, and the Cottrell IMPACT Award. She also co-founded the Pulsar Search Collaboratory program, which has involved over 2000 high-school students in pulsar searches over the past decade.

Zoom Link


Monday, April 29, 2024 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM


BHI Publication

Expanding Sgr A* dynamical imaging capabilities with an African extension to the Event Horizon Telescope

April 1, 2023
Kantzas, D.; Markoff, S.; Lucchini, M.; Ceccobello, C.; Chatterjee, K.
Astrophysical jets are relativistic outflows that remain collimated for remarkably many orders of magnitude. Despite decades of research, the…
Read The BHI Publication