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Nathan Steinle Colloquium

Fri. Oct. 20 12:30 PM - Fri. Oct. 20 01:20 PM
Location: 3M69 & via Zoom

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Using pulsar timing array observations to inform us about future detections of merging black-hole binaries by LISA

Pulsar timing arrays (PTAs) and the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) will open complementary observational windows on massive black hole binaries (MBHBs), i.e. with masses in the range 10^6 –10^10 Msol. While PTAs may detect a stochastic gravitational wave background generated by a population of MBHBs, during operation LISA will detect individual merging MBHBs. To demonstrate the profound interplay between PTAs and LISA, we estimate the number of MBHB mergers that one can expect to observe with LISA by extrapolating direct observational constraints on the MBHB merger rate inferred from PTA data. For this, we postulate that the common signal observed by PTAs (and consistent with the increased evidence recently reported) is an astrophysical background sourced by a single MBHB population. We then constrain the LISA detection rate, R, in the mass–redshift space by combining our PTA-inferred merger rate with LISA ’s sensitivity to merging MBHBs. In this talk, I will give a brief intro to gravitational-wave astronomy, and I will summarize the main results of our above study.


For a zoom invitation to this event, email: an.wiebe@uwinnipeg.ca