Searching for radio and gamma-ray pulsars with Einstein@Home

Main Colloquium
Dr. Colin Clark
Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics/Leibniz Universität Hannover

Searching for continuous gravitational waves from spinning deformed neutron stars is an extremely computationally demanding task, a result of incredibly faint signals, long data sets and a multi-dimensional parameter space to search over. The distributed volunteer computing system Einstein@Home was built to tackle this problem by aggregating the donated power from hundreds of thousands of CPUs and GPUs across the globe. While the discovery of continuous gravitational waves remains elusive, the efficient methods and computing resources developed for these searches can also be used to search for new radio and gamma-ray pulsars. In this seminar, I will describe how these methods can improve the sensitivity of pulsar searches, and the pulsar search projects that our group are performing on Einstein@Home using these techniques. These include searches for new black-widow and redback binary millisecond pulsars in data from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, and searches for the most relativistic binary pulsar systems in Arecibo and MeerKAT radio telescope data. I will also present science highlights from among the nearly 100 pulsars that Einstein@Home has discovered, including a new black-widow system with the shortest known orbital period.