1 FEBBRAIO 2024 ore 11:30

Mathematical methods for radio pulsar searching and applications

Viviana Piga (Università di Cagliari & INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Cagliari, Italia)
Mathematical methods for radio pulsar searching and applications

Pulsars are fast-spinning, magnetized neutron stars, resulting from the explosion of massive stars, that emit pulses of radiation in a periodic, and extremely regular fashion. Thanks to their "ticking", pulsars can be treated as very precise astrophysical clocks that, depending on their characteristics, can be exploited for a plethora of scientific applications.

Discovering more and more pulsars is therefore important not only to better understand the properties of the whole Galactic pulsar population, but also to find peculiar objects that could possibly enable new types of experiments.

Despite the periodic nature of their signals, searching for pulsars can be challenging, especially when they are part of binary systems (which are also the most scientifically valuable sources). Over the decades, a number of methods and algorithms have been developed to target pulsars and systems with different characteristics.

Not all of these algorithms are computationally efficient, therefore they cannot be easily used on all-sky surveys: they can, however, be applied to small data sets, such as those of targeted surveys.

In this colloquium, I will report on the state of the art of radio pulsar searching algorithms. I will particularly focus on a specific algorithm tailored to find the most compact binary pulsars, on which I am working to improve its efficiency so as to make it suitable for large-scale surveys.

Finally, I will report on the results that I obtained by applying these algorithms to real data of globular and open clusters, taken with the Parkes and the MeerKAT radio telescopes.



Breve CV di Viviana Piga:

Viviana Piga ha ottenuto la laurea in Matematica nel 2019 con una tesi sullo studio delle curve biarmoniche su una superficie. Ha poi ottenuto una borsa di studio presso l'INAF-OAC, dove ha lavorato sullo sviluppo di algoritmi computazionali distribuiti per il progetto "Citizen COmputing Pulsar Search" (CICLOPS). Viviana è attualmente una studentessa di dottorato in Matematica all'Università di Cagliari, e lavora  congiuntamente con l'INAF-OAC su migliorare ed applicare gli algoritmi di ricerca per le pulsar ai dati radio astronomici, con un focus particolare alle osservazioni di cluster globulari e aperti.