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The First ATNF Gravitational Wave Workshop

18:00 Thu 07 Dec to 10:00 Sat 09 Dec 2006

ATNF Marsfield Lecture Theatre


Data have been collected for the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA) project over the past 2.5 years. The main goal of the PPTA project is to make the first direct detection of gravitational waves. Already, we have used our data to limit the existence of a stochastic background of low-frequency gravitational waves and hence have 1) placed constraints on the rate of expansion of the Universe in the inflationary era, 2) provided an upper bound on the dimensionless tension of a cosmic string background and 3) constrained the merger rate of supermassive binary black hole systems (and ruled out some relationships between the black-hole mass and the galactic halo mass). Other results from the project have included constraining Solar system planetary masses, studying the Solar corona and probing the interstellar medium. In the near future we expect to limit the existence of single coalescing massive black-hole binary systems to high red-shift, place limits on various theories of gravity, study pulsar spin-down and search for irregularities in terrestrial time standards.
To highlight our results and to discuss future issues we have organised a meeting to be held on the 7th and 8th of December 2006 in the ATNF lecture theatre (Sydney). The dates of this meeting are just before the Texas Symposium in Melbourne and we have several international visitors participating in our meeting. The first day (7th Dec) will have talks about the science of the PPTA project. The second day (8th Dec) will contain four discussions which will be of interest to a more limited audience.
More details are available on the meeting <a href=""> web site</a>


George Hobbs

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