Physics colloquium series
Engineering and Physical Sciences Building, Room 108
Dr. Scott Ransom, Astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, will present "Detecting Gravitational Waves (and doing other cool physics) with Millisecond Pulsars".
The first millisecond pulsar was discovered in 1982. Since that time their use as highly-accurate celestial clocks has improved continually, so that they are now regularly used to measure a variety of general relativistic effects and probe a variety of topics in basic physics, such as the equation of state of matter at supra-nuclear densities. One of their most exciting uses though, is the current North American (NANOGrav) and international (the International Pulsar Timing Array) efforts to directly detect nanohertz frequency gravitational waves, most likely originating from the ensemble of supermassive black hole binaries scattered throughout the universe.
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