The direct detection of gravitational waves is a major goal of current astrophysics. We provide details of a new method for detecting a stochastic background of gravitational waves using pulsar timing data. Our results show that regular timing observations of 40 pulsars each with a timing accuracy of 100 ns will be able to make a direct detection of the predicted stochastic background from coalescing black holes within 5 years. With an improved prewhitening algorithm, or if the background is at the upper end of the predicted range, a significant detection should be possible with only 20 pulsars. Â© 2005. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Fredrick A. Jenet, et. al., (2005) Detecting the stochastic gravitational wave background using pulsar timing.Astrophysical Journal625:2L123. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1086/431220