Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of New Mexico

Physics and Astronomy Colloquium

The NANOGrav 15-year Data Release: Evidence for Gravitational Waves from Radio Pulsar Timing

Presented by Prof. Timothy Dolch (Hillsdale College/Eureka Scientific)

The North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) collaboration is an NSF Physics Frontiers Center dedicated to probing the 1–100 nHz range of the gravitational wave (GW) spectrum. Using the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array in New Mexico, and other radio observatories, NANOGrav times over 70 radio pulsars at least twice a month. The line-of-sight to each pulsar acts as a detector arm for measuring pulse time-of-arrival deviations due to GWs, akin to LIGO’s ground-based detector arms. As announced in June 2023, the 15-year dataset contains groundbreaking evidence for a stochastic GW background likely due to supermassive black hole binaries (SMBHBs). Together with the entire International Pulsar Timing Array, NANOGrav now rapidly approaches the capability for the future multi-messenger detection of individual SMBHBs.

3:30 pm, Friday, September 15, 2023


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