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

Anholm, Melissa and Ballmer, Stefan and Creighton, Jolien D. E. and Price, Larry R. and Siemens, Xavier (2009) Optimal strategies for gravitational wave stochastic background searches in pulsar timing data. Physical Review D, 79 (8). 084030. ISSN 2470-0010.

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A low frequency stochastic background of gravitational waves may be detected by pulsar timing experiments in the next 5 to 10 yr. 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.

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Additional Information:© 2009 American Physical Society. Received 2 September 2008; revised 16 December 2008; published 21 April 2009. We would like to thank Luis Anchordoqui, Steven Detweiler, Nick Fotopoulos, Rick Jenet, Adam Mercer, and Joe Romano for many useful discussions. Additionally we would like to thank Nick Fotopoulos and Adam Mercer for carefully reading the manuscript. J. C. is supported in part by NSF Grant No. PHY-0701817. L. P. is supported by NSF Grant No. PHY-0503366 and the Research Growth Initiative at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. X. S. is supported in part by NSF Grant No. PHY-0758155. S.B. gratefully acknowledges the support of the California Institute of Technology. LIGO was constructed by the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology with funding from the National Science Foundation and operates under cooperative agreement PHY-0107417. PACS numbers: 04.30.Db, 04.80.Nn
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Research Growth Initiative, University of WisconsinUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090708-150853074
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14527
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:09 Jul 2009 18:56
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 00:50

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