Our group's article, "Observing the dynamics of super-massive black hole binaries with Pulsar Timing Arrays" has been formally accepted by Physical Review Letters (PRL). This is after we received minor corrections from the referees x2. The article has been posted on the arxiv and will appear tomorrow (tonight at midnight). Finally!!
Here is the abstract: Pulsar Timing Arrays are a prime tool to study unexplored astrophysical regimes with gravitational waves. Here we show that the detection of gravitational radiation from individually resolvable super-massive black hole binary systems can yield direct information about the masses and spins of the black holes, provided that the gravitational-wave induced timing fluctuations both at the pulsar and at the Earth are detected. This in turn provides a map of the non-linear dynamics of the gravitational field and a new avenue to tackle open problems in astrophysics connected to the formation and evolution of super-massive black holes. We discuss the potential, the challenges and the limitations of these observations.
Hi all! A former University of Birmingham post doc and a good friend of mine, Dr. Eleanor Chalkley, is looking for a job in the Netherlands. If anyone has any leads or jobs, why not check out her website, www.eleanorchalkley.com, and get in touch?
One of the big messages I got from the IPTA meeting in Australia was that the stochastic GW background that we're looking for probably isn't isotropic. So right now, I'm looking in to anisotropies as my next big project for my PhD, starting by reading Thrane et al 2009.
I'm back from Australia! I went over for the IPTA's summer school and science week. At the science week in Kiama I gave a talk on the most recent article I've been working on with the Birmingham GW group, "Measuring the evolution of a super-massive black hole binary using Pulsar Timing Arrays", which was very well received. I got some useful comments from Yuri Levin and spoke to many other interested participants.
Since it was the winter, the weather was pretty cold but sunny! No tan for this physicist....