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18th of May 2016
ATNF Colloquium
Pulsar Timing Arrays - (a tool for serious physics)
by Bill Coles (University of California San Diego)
Abstract. Pulsar timing arrays (PTAs) are designed to search for evidence of gravitational waves from super massive black hole binaries. The sensitivity of present PTAs is just about adequate to detect the expected background of SMBBs. However, PTAs are razor sharp tools for studying less exotic but more useful questions such as: (1) study of the ISM on tiny scales; (2) study decadal stability of atomic time; and (3) aligning the solar system to celestial coordinates. The Parkes PTA has been the leader in all of these areas.

Image caption: A "Delay-Doppler spectrum" showing a small ragged cloud of plasma approaching the line of sight to PSR J1603-7202 and a bigger cloud leaving. Bill Coles with Daniel Reardon, Jingbo Wang, Matthew Kerr, and George Hobbs + PPTA Team

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