Scott Ransom, National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Basic Physics with Millisecond Pulsars
Argonne Physics Division Colloquium - 18 Feb 2010
11:00 AM, Building 203 auditorium

There are about 2000 pulsars known, and while all of them as neutron stars are fascinating objects, the best and most exciting science comes from a very small percentage (~1%) of exotic objects, most of which are millisecond pulsars (MSPs). These systems are notoriously hard to detect, yet their numbers have more than doubled in the past 5-6 years via surveys using the world's largest radio telescopes and the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Timing observations of these new MSPs as well as much improved monitoring of previously known MSPs are providing a wealth of science. In this talk I'll cover 3 main areas in basic physics where systems like these are making an impact: strong-field tests of general relativity, the nature of matter at supra-nuclear densities (including the recent accurate measurement of a two Solar mass neutron star), and the direct detection of gravitational waves (e.g. NANOGrav) likely within the next decade.

Argonne Physics Division Colloquium Schedule