University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Astronomy Seminar

Wednesday, January 20, 2021
10:00am – 11:00am

Storrs Campus

Dr. Caitlin Witt, Department of Physics and Astronomy, West Virginia University

Multimessenger Astrophysics in the NANOGrav Pulsar Timing Array Nearly all galaxies contain supermassive black holes, and when these galaxies merge, they can form supermassive black hole binaries. As they progress towards merger, these binaries emit strong nanohertz gravitational waves (GWs). In the next few years, pulsar timing arrays will reach the sensitivities required to detect GWs from both individual supermassive black hole binaries, as well as the stochastic GW background formed by the entire population of these binaries. However, GWs are not the only method used to search for supermassive binaries; by combining GW searches with electromagnetic searches, we enter the regime of multimessenger astrophysics. In this talk, I’ll discuss multimessenger efforts within the NANOGrav pulsar timing array, including the recently published targeted multimessenger search for GWs that I led for the collaboration. We developed the first collaboration toolkit for analysis of multimessenger data, and applied it to the well-known binary candidate 3C 66B. We also demonstrated improvements to constraints that can be made by including electromagnetic data in this way. I’ll also present some of my ongoing work on the electromagnetic searches for supermassive black hole binaries, where we are exploring the capabilities of binary detection methods on AGN with periodic variability, for both existing and future time-domain surveys.

Webex link:


Dr. A. Huang

Physics Department (primary), College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, UConn Master Calendar

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