Optimal strategies for gravitational wave stochastic background searches in pulsar timing data

Melissa Anholm, Stefan Ballmer, Jolien D.E. Creighton, Larry R. Price, Xavier Siemens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Scopus citations

Abstract

A low frequency stochastic background of gravitational waves may be detected by pulsar timing experiments in the next 5 to 10yr. Using methods developed to analyze interferometric gravitational wave data, in this paper we lay out the optimal techniques to detect a background of gravitational waves using a pulsar timing array. We show that for pulsar distances and gravitational wave frequencies typical of pulsar timing experiments, neglecting the effect of the metric perturbation at the pulsar does not result in a significant deviation from optimality. We discuss methods for setting upper limits using the optimal statistic, show how to construct skymaps using the pulsar timing array, and consider several issues associated with realistic analysis of pulsar timing data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number084030
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Volume79
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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