The official entry of the Indian Pulsar Timing Array (InPTA), as a full member of IPTA, opened the doors to greater participation of researchers from IIT Hyderabad, in search of the waves of ‘Einstein from black hole monsters. The world’s largest radio telescopes are regularly used by an international experiment, called the International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA), to accurately measure the clock periods of a collection of these radio pulsars.
InPTA is a collaboration of around 25 scientific researchers and students from 15 institutions in India and abroad. Dr Shantanu Desai, Raghav Girgaonkar, Ashwin Pandey are currently part of this prestigious collaboration of IIT Hyderabad. The collaboration also includes IITH alumnus Suryarao Bethapudi, currently a doctoral student at MPIFR, Germany. The InPTA uses uGMRT, operated by the National Center for Radio Astrophysics at the Tata Fundamental Research Institute, to monitor approximately 6 to 20 milliseconds and 20 millisecond pulsars since 2015.
Recently, this consortium of predominantly Indian researchers, which regularly uses the improved Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (uGMRT), located near Pune, has become a full member of the international effort to discover and study very low frequency gravitational waves, also called Einstein waves. , from black holes of monsters circling around each other in orbit.
Emphasizing the importance of this achievement, Dr Shantanu Desai, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, said: “IITH has been part of the Indian Pulsar Timing Network since 2017. Our students participate in data collection using the unique capabilities of the ‘uGMRT and play an important role in continuous data analysis in partnership with NCRA-TIFR.
“Now that we are part of the global international research effort for nanoHz gravitational waves, this offers many opportunities for IITH science and engineering students to join this global effort and make discoveries. revolutionary. In addition, IITH’s participation in the detection of nanoHz gravitational waves would make it a leading institute for astrophysics and cosmology. I look forward to working with more IITH students in various departments on InPTA and participating in these monumental efforts. “
The unique frequency range of uGMRT, which is the world’s largest steerable low-frequency radio telescope, helps improve the accuracy of IPTA for detecting nanohertz GWs. Once discovered, these waves will refine the evolutionary models of our universe as well as the masses and orbits of the members of our solar system and will open a new window of GW astronomy. These clocks are observed between 300 and 800 MHz with the uGMRT, which is not covered by other large IPTA telescopes.
The inclusion of uGMRT will make it possible to remove the delays introduced by the interstellar medium into the arrival of radio pulses from these galactic clocks by a factor of 5 more precisely than before, which should be crucial for improving the accuracy of IPTA. . Therefore, InPTA and uGMRT are likely to play an important role in the detection of nanohertz GWs and gravitational astronomy with these waves in the future. Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad is one of six new Indian Institutes of Technology established by the Union Government in 2008