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Gravitational Wave Astrophysics and Analysis with Pulsars (GW ASAP)
Start date: Jun 1, 2014, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Gravitational waves, ripples of space-time from accelerating masses, are the most elusive prediction of Einstein’s theory of General Relativity; So elusive in fact, that they have yet to be directly detected, although indirect evidence from binary pulsars (e.g. Taylor and Weisberg, 1982) supports their existence. This project implements new and novel techniques to search for direct evidence of gravitational waves from supermassive black holes using Pulsar Timing Arrays by means of a new interdisciplinary collaboration in radio and infrared astronomy, data analysis and astrophysics. I will lead an international team of experts to simulate an astrophysically motivated gravitational wave background using candidate supermassive black hole binaries from galaxy catalogues. We will then assess the expected level of anisotropy in the gravitational wave background and use this information as a prior in a new and novel data analysis project which implements anisotropy in GW search algorithms. Finally, we extend the anisotropic search method to gravitational waves from single sources using a new ""hybridized"" technique which may prove to be an invaluable tool in the search for, and first detection of, gravitational waves."

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