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Spring 2014 Newsletter


Spring 2014 newsletter

The CGWA Mission


The Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy was created by a grant from the University Research Centers program administered by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 2003.

In 2007 it was also selected for funding under the Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) from the National Science Foundation.

The center currently possesses a varied portfolio of extra-institutional funding from various sources, including NASA, NSF, and DoD which totals more than $3 million per year.

The core mission of CGWA is to further scientific research and education in gravitational wave astronomy.

One of the most exciting new developments in physics is the imminent advent of gravitational wave astronomy - viewing the cosmos not with light and its electromagnetic complements like radio, x-rays, infrared, microwaves and gamma-rays, but rather with ripples of gravity, or gravitational waves. Viewed in this way, the universe will reveal details that cannot be observed by any other means, and many of its most enigmatic constituents, such as black holes, will be among the most visible objects in the sky.  Read more



Faculty and students are engaged in fundamental research in all aspects of gravitational wave astronomy, including relativistic astrophysics, data analysis, multi-messenger astronomy and laser instrumentation.


Highlights


Time-domain Implementation of the Optimal Cross-Correlation Statistic for Stochastic Gravitational-Wave Background Searches in Pulsar Timing Data


Supermassive black hole binaries, cosmic strings, relic gravitational waves from inflation, and first order phase transitions in the early universe are expected to contribute to a stochastic background of gravitational waves in the 10-9 Hz - 10-7 Hz frequency band. Pulsar timing arrays (PTAs) exploit the high precision timing of radio pulsars to detect signals at such frequencies. More...

Prospects for Detection of Extragalactic Stellar Black Hole Binaries in the Nearby Universe


Stellar mass black hole binaries have individual masses between 10-80 solar masses. These systems may emit gravitational waves at frequencies detectable at Megaparsec distances by space-based gravitational wave observatories. In a previous study, we determined the selection effects of observing these systems with detectors similar to the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna by using a generated population of binary black holes that covered a reasonable parameter space and calculating their signal-to-noise ratio More...

A coherent method for the detection and estimation of continuous gravitational wave signals using a pulsar timing array


The use of a high precision pulsar timing array is a promising approach to detecting gravitational waves in the very low frequency regime (10-6-10-9Hz) that is complementary to the ground-based efforts (e.g., LIGO, Virgo) at high frequencies (~10-10 3Hz) and space-based ones (e.g., LISA) at low frequencies(10-4-10-1Hz). One of the target sources for pulsar timing arrays are individual supermassive black hole binaries that are expected to form in galactic mergers. In this paper, a likelihood based method for detection and estimation is presented for a monochromatic continuous gravitational wave signal emitted by such a source. More...

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