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The European Pulsar Timing Array is a multinational European collaboration of pulsar astronomers. Our aim is to combine the efforts and resources from the various member insititutions and telescopes, toward increasing the precision and quality of pulsar science results.
Our main focus concerns the direct detection of gravitational waves using pulsar timing. In order to do this, we are performing long-term timing observations and analysis on many pulsar systems scattered throughout the sky. The coalescence of primordial black holes – during galaxy mergers, for example – together would form a stochastic background of gravity waves. The common effect on the arrival times of pulses from pulsars distributed around teh sky would manifest itself as a correlated signal in the timing residuals obtained from all pulsars studied.
The success of such an effort requires the achievement of two principal aims:
In pursuit of these goals, work is underway for the LEAP project. This will combine the signals from all the telescopes involved in our collaboration to provide a telescope area roughly equivalent to that of the illuminated Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico. LEAP, however, will be able to see more of the sky and track objects for longer periods of time.
Click on the LEAP menu item to learn more about this highly anticipated project. The menu items above also links to various information about our collaboration and the people who contribute to it.
News: Thesis prize for Rutger van Haasteren
The GWIC (Gravitational Wave International Committee) Thesis Prize selection committee has made its decision to award the 2011 Prize to Rutger van Haasteren of the University of Leiden for his thesis "Gravitational Wave detection and data analysis for Pulsar Timing Arrays". Rutger will be awarded with his prize at one of the GW conferences later this year. This particular selection represents a "diversity" milestone, as the first time that a thesis from the pulsar timing community has won the Prize. GWIC website
Also, Rutger's thesis has been awarded the "Honorable mention" for the new Stefano Braccini thesis prize 2011 by the European Gravitational Observatory and VIRGO collaboration. European Gravitational Observatory newsletter