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Upper limits on the isotropic gravitational radiation background from pulsar timing analysis
Hellings, R. W.; Downs, G. S.
AA(California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA), AB(California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 2 - Letters to the Editor, vol. 265, Feb. 15, 1983, p. L39-L42. (ApJL Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Background Radiation, Cosmology, Gravitational Waves, Pulsars, Time Measurement, Doppler Effect, Gravitation Theory, Gravitational Wave Antennas, Isotropy, Limits (Mathematics), Perturbation Theory, Power Spectra, Spectral Energy Distribution, Stochastic Processes
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A pulsar and the earth may be thought of as end masses of a free-mass gravitational wave antenna in which the relative motion of the masses is monitored by observing the Doppler shift of the pulse arrival times. Using timing residuals from PSR 1133 + 16, 1237 + 25, 1604-00, and 2045-16, an upper limit to the spectrum of the isotropic gravitational radiation background has been derived in the frequency band 4 x 10 to the -9th to 10 to the -7th Hz. This limit is found to be S(E) = 10 to the 21st f-cubed ergs/cu cm Hz, where S(E) is the energy density spectrum and f is the frequency in Hz. This would limit the energy density at frequencies below 10 to the -8th Hz to be 0.00014 times the critical density.

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