Event Title

Searching and Solving Pulsar Puzzles

Mentor 1

Xavier Siemens

Mentor 2

David Kaplan

Mentor 3

Dawn Erb

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

29-4-2016 1:30 PM

End Date

29-4-2016 3:30 PM

Description

Pulsars are a type of evolved star that are extremely dense and rotate with an extremely reliable period producing an intense beam of radiation, similar to a lighthouse pulse. This unique pulse allows for novel ways to study the universe, the most exciting of which being the potential to detect low frequency gravitational waves. The Arecibo Remote Command Center (ARCC) was formed as a way for undergraduate students to be involved in the search for new pulsars. Students remotely observe from UWM with two of the world’s largest radio telescopes, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, and the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, and analyze the resulting data to discover and study these incredible neutron stars. Once a pulsar is discovered, it must be timed regularly in order to determine various parameters describing the system with astounding precision. These timing proposals can require ~1000 hours per year of observing, which undergraduates can easily do in the place of faculty and senior researchers. Students are also learning to “solve” pulsars themselves, an effort which will likely lead to authorship on a refereed journal paper. UWM students collaborate with students at a number of other US institutions, including the University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley, and Franklin & Marshall College, and with researchers across the globe.

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Apr 29th, 1:30 PM Apr 29th, 3:30 PM

Searching and Solving Pulsar Puzzles

Union Wisconsin Room

Pulsars are a type of evolved star that are extremely dense and rotate with an extremely reliable period producing an intense beam of radiation, similar to a lighthouse pulse. This unique pulse allows for novel ways to study the universe, the most exciting of which being the potential to detect low frequency gravitational waves. The Arecibo Remote Command Center (ARCC) was formed as a way for undergraduate students to be involved in the search for new pulsars. Students remotely observe from UWM with two of the world’s largest radio telescopes, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, and the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, and analyze the resulting data to discover and study these incredible neutron stars. Once a pulsar is discovered, it must be timed regularly in order to determine various parameters describing the system with astounding precision. These timing proposals can require ~1000 hours per year of observing, which undergraduates can easily do in the place of faculty and senior researchers. Students are also learning to “solve” pulsars themselves, an effort which will likely lead to authorship on a refereed journal paper. UWM students collaborate with students at a number of other US institutions, including the University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley, and Franklin & Marshall College, and with researchers across the globe.