Type: 
Colloquium
Date-Time: 
Monday, November 9, 2020 - 16:00
Location: 
Zoom
Event Speaker: 
Maura McLaughlin (West Virginia)
Local Contact: 
Xavi Siemens
Abstract: 

Millisecond pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars with phenomenal rotational stability. The NANOGrav collaboration monitors an array of about 80 of these cosmic clocks in order to detect perturbations due to gravitational waves at nanohertz frequencies. These gravitational waves will most likely result from an ensemble of supermassive black hole binaries. Their detection and subsequent study will offer unique insights into galaxy growth and evolution over cosmic time. I will present our most recent dataset and the results of our gravitational wave analysis, which suggests the presence of a common signature in the data that could be the first hints of a gravitational wave background. I will then describe the gains in sensitivity that are expected from additional data, discoveries of millisecond pulsars, more sensitive instrumentation, and international collaboration and discuss prospects for detection in the next several years.

Refreshments: 
Refreshments will be offered half an hour before the colloquium in Weniger 379