[1008.1782] Pulsar Timing Array Observations of Massive Black Hole Binaries

Authors: Vincent Corbin, Neil J. Cornish

Date: 10 Aug 2010

Abstract: Pulsar timing is a promising technique for detecting low frequency sources of gravitational waves. Historically the focus has been on the detection of diffuse stochastic backgrounds, such as those formed from the superposition of weak signals from a population of binary black holes. More recently, attention has turned to members of the binary population that are nearer and brighter, which stand out from the crowd and can be individually resolved. Here we show that the timing data from an array of pulsars can be used to recover the physical parameters describing an individual black hole binary to good accuracy, even for moderately strong signals. A novel aspect of our analysis is that we include the distance to each pulsar as a search parameter, which allows us to utilize the full gravitational wave signal. This doubles the signal power, improves the sky location determination by an order of magnitude, and allows us to extract the mass and the distance to the black hole binary.

abs pdf

Aug 11, 2010

1008.1782 (/preprints)
2010-08-11, 21:37 [edit]

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