Pulsars probe the low-frequency gravitational sky: Pulsar Timing Arrays basics and recent results [IMA]


Pulsar Timing Array (PTA) experiments exploit the clock-like behaviour of an array of millisecond pulsars, with the goal of detecting low-frequency gravitational waves. PTA experiments have been in operation over the last decade, led by groups in Europe, Australia, and North America. These experiments use the most sensitive radio telescopes in the world, extremely precise pulsar timing models and sophisticated detection algorithms to increase the sensitivity of PTAs. No detection of gravitational waves has been made to date with this technique, but PTA upper limits already contributed to rule out some models of galaxy formation. Moreover, a new generation of radio telescopes, such as the Five hundred metre Aperture Spherical Telescope and, in particular, the Square Kilometre Array, will offer a significant improvement to the PTA sensitivity. In this article, we review the basic concepts of PTA experiments, and discuss the latest results from the established PTA collaborations.

Read this paper on arXiv…

C. Tiburzi
Thu, 15 Feb 18

Comments: Accepted for publication in PASA, 16 pages, 7 figures