5.1 Limits from individual pulsarsBinary and Millisecond Pulsars4.5 Going further

5 Pulsars as gravity wave detectors 

Many cosmological models predict that the Universe is presently filled with a stochastic gravitational wave background (GWB) produced during the big bang era [122]. The idea to use pulsars as natural detectors of gravitational waves was first explored independently by Sazhin and Detweiler in the late 1970s [137, 54Jump To The Next Citation Point In The Article]. The basic concept is to treat the solar system barycentre and a distant pulsar as opposite ends of an imaginary arm in space. The pulsar acts as the reference clock at one end of the arm sending out regular signals which are monitored by an observer on the Earth over some time-scale T . The effect of a passing gravitational wave would be to cause a change in the observed rotational frequency by an amount proportional to the amplitude of the wave. For regular monitoring observations of a pulsar with typical TOA uncertainties of tex2html_wrap_inline2153, this ``detector'' would be sensitive to waves with dimensionless amplitudes tex2html_wrap_inline2275 and frequencies as low as tex2html_wrap_inline2277 [30Jump To The Next Citation Point In The Article, 37Jump To The Next Citation Point In The Article]. This method, which already yields interesting upper limits on the GWB, is reviewed in § 5.1 . The idea of more sensitive detector based on an array of pulsar clocks distributed over the sky is discussed in § 5.2 .





5.1 Limits from individual pulsarsBinary and Millisecond Pulsars4.5 Going further

image Binary and Millisecond Pulsars
D. R. Lorimer (dunc@mpifr-bonn.mpg.de)
http://www.livingreviews.org/lrr-1998-10
© Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. ISSN 1433-8351
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