Pulsars as gravitational wave sources

Wed 25 July, 2018 @12:00 PM, level 7
Dr Matthew Pitkin, Post-doctoral Research Fellow
University of Glasgow

Email:  matthew.pitkin[at]glasgow.ac.uk


Transient sources of gravitational waves, such as coalescing black holes and neutron stars, have obviously been at the forefront of gravitational wave astronomy. But, there are still many intriguing sources that have yet to be detected, and these include continuous quasi-monochromatic signals from individual rapidly-rotating neutron stars. Known pulsars therefore are intriguing targets for searches for such signals. In this talk I will give an overview of searches for gravitational waves from pulsars using the LIGO and Virgo detectors. I will describe some recent work that may provide some evidence that millisecond pulsars have a minimum ellipticity, which makes detection of these sources more plausible with future gravitational detectors. I will also describe how hierarchical Bayesian inference can potentially be used to detect signals from an ensemble of pulsars and infer the distribution of pulsar ellipticities.