MIT Astrophysics Colloquium 12/12/2023 — Sarah Vigeland: Searching For A Gravitational Wave Background With Pulsar Timing Arrays

Tuesday December 12, 2023 4:00 pm

Title: Searching for a Gravitational Wave Background with Pulsar Timing Array

Abstract: Pulsar timing arrays use observations of millisecond pulsars to detect nanohertz gravitational waves. The North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) Collaboration has recently released their 15-year data set containing observations of 68 millisecond pulsars. These data contain evidence for Hellings-Downs correlations, which are characteristic of a gravitational wave background. In this talk, I will present these results, and discuss the spectral properties of the signal and implications for the astrophysical source. I will also discuss prospects for detecting other types of gravitational wave sources with pulsar timing arrays, including individual supermassive binary black holes.

Host: Scott Hughes                                                                                          via Zoom


  • Sarah Vigeland, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Event Contact

Nayanika Yellepeddi