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Testing fundamental physics using pulsars

Date and Time: Tuesday, April 20, 2021, 01:00pm -
Location: Zoom:

Speaker: Jeff Dror (UC Santa Cruz)

Abstract: A pulsar is a star that can rotate as fast as a thousand times per second, with each rotation sending a beam of light at our telescopes. The arrival time of each pulse is dependent on the Earth's motion, opening an opportunity to search for gravitational waves shaking the Earth with frequencies of O(year^-1). In this talk, I will show how these datasets can be used to probe fundamental physics focusing both on types of signals to search for as well as how recent developments in machine learning can be employed to greatly expand the range of searches carried out by pulsar timing experiments. These searches are particularly timely due to the recent detection of a correlated signal across many pulsars, which may be our first glimpse of gravitational waves from supermassive black hole mergers.

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