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High-Precision Pulsar Timing at Parkes (P140)

The primary goals of the P140 project are to

  • develop new instrumentation and innovative analysis methods that improve arrival time precision and accuracy;
  • apply these pioneering tools and techniques to those pulsars with the greatest potential for high-precision timing;
  • study the physics of selected pulsars and their environments, including the pulsar emission mechanism and propagation in the pulsar magnetosphere, astrometry, orbital dynamics, relativistic effects, binary system evolution including eclipsing binaries, and the intervening interstellar medium (scintillation, Faraday rotation, dispersion variations, etc.); and
  • contribute to both present and future Pulsar Timing Array experiments by characterizing variations in arrival time residuals on decadal timescales and placing the strongest limits on the energy density of the gravitational wave background.

The P140 project is one of the primary contributors to the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array project and is strategically coordinated in collaboration with the P456 project at Parkes.

Recent Results

June 2010: Evidence for pulse profile shape variation

May 2010: First light from CASPSR, our new GPU-based pulsar instrument at Parkes

November 2009: New calibration pipeline reduces J1022+1001 timing residual noise by over 30%