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  1. Abstract In this work, we present polarization profiles for 23 millisecond pulsars observed at 820 and 1500 MHz with the Green Bank Telescope as part of the NANOGrav pulsar timing array. We calibrate the data using Mueller matrix solutions calculated from observations of PSRs B1929+10 and J1022+1001. We discuss the polarization profiles, which can be used to constrain pulsar emission geometry, and present both the first published radio polarization profiles for nine pulsars and the discovery of very low-intensity average profile components (“microcomponents”) in four pulsars. We obtain the Faraday rotation measures for each pulsar and use them to calculate the Galactic magnetic field parallel to the line of sight for different lines of sight through the interstellar medium. We fit for linear and sinusoidal trends in time in the dispersion measure and Galactic magnetic field and detect magnetic field variations with a period of 1 yr in some pulsars, but overall find that the variations in these parameters are more consistent with a stochastic origin.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  2. Abstract We present new discoveries and results from long-term timing of 72 pulsars discovered in the Pulsar Arecibo L -band Feed Array (PALFA) survey, including precise determination of astrometric and spin parameters, and flux density and scatter broadening measurements at 1.4 GHz. Notable discoveries include two young pulsars (characteristic ages ∼30 kyr) with no apparent supernova remnant associations, three mode-changing, 12 nulling and two intermittent pulsars. We detected eight glitches in five pulsars. Among them is PSR J1939+2609, an apparently old pulsar (characteristic age ∼1 Gy), and PSR J1954+2529, which likely belongs to a newly emerging class of binary pulsars. The latter is the only pulsar among the 72 that is clearly not isolated: a nonrecycled neutron star with a 931 ms spin period in an eccentric ( e = 0.114) wide ( P b = 82.7 days) orbit with a companion of undetermined nature having a minimum mass of ∼0.6 M ⊙ . Since operations at Arecibo ceased in 2020 August, we give a final tally of PALFA sky coverage, and compare its 207 pulsar discoveries to the known population. On average, they are 50% more distant than other Galactic plane radio pulsars; PALFA millisecond pulsars (MSPs) have twicemore »the dispersion measure per unit spin period than the known population of MSP in the plane. The four intermittent pulsars discovered by PALFA more than double the population of such objects, which should help to improve our understanding of pulsar magnetosphere physics. The statistics for these, rotating radio transients, and nulling pulsars suggest that there are many more of these objects in the Galaxy than was previously thought.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  3. Abstract The Green Bank North Celestial Cap survey is a 350 MHz all-sky survey for pulsars and fast radio transients using the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope. To date, the survey has discovered over 190 pulsars, including 33 millisecond pulsars and 24 rotating radio transients. Several exotic pulsars have been discovered in the survey, including PSR J1759+5036, a binary pulsar with a 176 ms spin period in an orbit with a period of 2.04 days, an eccentricity of 0.3, and a projected semi-major axis of 6.8 light seconds. Using seven years of timing data, we are able to measure one post–Keplerian parameter, advance of periastron, which has allowed us to constrain the total system mass to 2.62 ± 0.03 M ⊙ . This constraint, along with the spin period and orbital parameters, suggests that this is a double neutron star system, although we cannot entirely rule out a pulsar-white dwarf binary. This pulsar is only detectable in roughly 45% of observations, most likely due to scintillation. However, additional observations are required to determine whether there may be other contributing effects.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2022
  4. ABSTRACT We searched for an isotropic stochastic gravitational wave background in the second data release of the International Pulsar Timing Array, a global collaboration synthesizing decadal-length pulsar-timing campaigns in North America, Europe, and Australia. In our reference search for a power-law strain spectrum of the form $h_c = A(f/1\, \mathrm{yr}^{-1})^{\alpha }$, we found strong evidence for a spectrally similar low-frequency stochastic process of amplitude $A = 3.8^{+6.3}_{-2.5}\times 10^{-15}$ and spectral index α = −0.5 ± 0.5, where the uncertainties represent 95 per cent credible regions, using information from the auto- and cross-correlation terms between the pulsars in the array. For a spectral index of α = −2/3, as expected from a population of inspiralling supermassive black hole binaries, the recovered amplitude is $A = 2.8^{+1.2}_{-0.8}\times 10^{-15}$. None the less, no significant evidence of the Hellings–Downs correlations that would indicate a gravitational-wave origin was found. We also analysed the constituent data from the individual pulsar timing arrays in a consistent way, and clearly demonstrate that the combined international data set is more sensitive. Furthermore, we demonstrate that this combined data set produces comparable constraints to recent single-array data sets which have more data than the constituent parts of the combination. Future international data releases will deliver increasedmore »sensitivity to gravitational wave radiation, and significantly increase the detection probability.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 19, 2023