What is a gravitational-wave astrophysicist?
Gravitational waves (GWs) are ripples of space-time travelling at the speed of light originating from some of the most violent processes in the Universe, such as black hole mergers, which have just been detected.
As a gravitational-wave astrophysicist, I study low frequency GWs using Pulsar Timing Arrays (PTAs), a network of one or more radio telescopes used to regularly monitor a collection of millisecond pulsars. The pulsars beam radio waves to the Earth as they rotate, creating a lighthouse effect. These radio waves have very regular arrival times at the Earth, and deviations from the expected time of arrival could signal the presence of a GW.
The main sources of these GWs in the frequency region monitored by PTAs are supermassive black hole binary systems with masses in the range of millions to billion of solar masses.
If you're ineterested to find out more, check out my guest blog post for Scientific American.
Publications here. Bio here.
16 May 2016: I am in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal for the next three weeks, giving colloquia and visiting colleagues. I'll also be giving a talk at my former High School: RDHS!
4 May 2016: What's your #SparkOfScience? I shared mine with Nautilus Magazine, which they then created this short animation for.
29 April 2016: Nautilus Magazine highlighted part of my "Gravity Wave Hunter" interview, where I speak about my experience as a physicist. This touches on unwanted advances from senior faculty colleagues, unconscious bias, and (my) white privilege.
26 April 2016: Today I gave a talk to some very gifted students at Ad Astra, and then participated in my first "Science Speed Dating" event at NeueHouse, put on by The Science & Entertainment Exchange. A recap of the event is here.
21 April 2016: I was interviewed by Shannon Hall, who wrote about our new NANOGrav results. The article was written for Space.com, and was also picked up by Scientific American.
7 April 2016: All four parts of "Conversations with a Theoretical Astrophysicist" are now available on the Amy Poehler Smart Girls website. Thanks for the great opportunity Smart Girls!
18 March 2016: Amy Poehler Smart Girls just published part 2 of my 4-part blog series. This one is called "Conversations with a Theoretical Astrophysicist: The High School Years".
17 March 2016: I sat down with Nautilus magazine to talk about gravitational waves, and the culture of science, including sexual harassment and bullying.
Interview with Megan Amram for Amy Poehler Smart Girls!