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Dr. Daniel Reardon

As a member of OzGrav in the pulsar timing division, I work with pulsar timing array data to search for nanohertz-frequency gravitational waves. These waves are emitted for example by supermassive black hole binaries in the cores of distant galaxies. The eventual detection of these waves will depend on a precise understanding of the pulsars themselves, and of sources of noise including the interstellar plasma along our line-of-sight. My work involves improving pulsar models through the techniques of pulsar timing and interstellar scintillometry. Studying the interstellar scintillation of pulsars also reveals structures in the interstellar plasma that lead to noise in pulsar timing data. I am working with new techniques, based on modelling scintillation, to correct our timing data for this source of noise.

The MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa is a key new instrument for pulsar timing science, and part of my role is to work with MeerKAT pulsar timing data for a large set of pulsars, through the MeerTime project. In particular I am interested in studying relativistic binary pulsars to improve their models, which can be used to test theories of gravity. High precision timing and scintillometry of pulsars can be used in partnership to model orbital and astrometric properties of relativistic binaries in more detail than these techniques individually. I have already applied this technique to the relativistic binary pulsar PSR J1141-6545 to measure its proper motion and the orientation of the orbit in celestial coordinates.

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Phone   +61 3 9214 3329
Office   AMDC813.06