Physics Lecture by Paul Baker

"NANOGrav: A Galactic Scale Gravitational Wave Detector"

Paul Baker, Ph.D.
Department of Physics and Astronomy
West Virginia University

The North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) expects to directly detect a stochastic gravitational wave background (GWB) from super massive black hole binaries in the near future. This will be accomplished by monitoring many stable millisecond radio pulsars and looking for differences in the expected and actual time of arrival of pulses. We will review the sources of nanohertz gravitational waves that are detectable with pulsar timing arrays, like NANOGrav. Then we will discuss the fundamental techniques used by pulsar timing arrays to time pulsars and identify the GWB signature in data.

Friday, February 15 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Masters Hall 110 Mara Auditorium

Physics Department, Xsig
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