IIT Roorkee, International Pulsar Timing Array Help In Capturing Black Hole Symphony

IIT Roorkee, International Pulsar Timing Array Help In Capturing Black Hole Symphony

A team of researchers, including from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee was part of the first data release of the Indian Pulsar Timing Array (InPTA) collaboration. The InPTA is an Indo-Japanese collaboration of about forty radio-astronomers working together with the International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA) towards the detection of low-frequency gravitational waves.

This InPTA data release stems from three and a half years of observation using one of the world’s largest and finest telescopes, the upgraded Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (uGMRT) operated by NCRA-TIFR near Pune.

Professor P Arumugam from the Department of Physics, IIT Roorkee, and his PhD student, Jaikhomba Singha, and IITR alumnus, Piyush Marmat have been actively involved in this important article which got published recently in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia.

Highlighting the importance of this research, Professor P Arumugam, Department of Physics, IIT Roorkee, said, “This is an important release of our collaboration and will eventually help detect gravity waves in a new window.”

The universe is filled with gravitational wave background holding answers to deep secrets of nature. The waves that we detect now are strong but short-lived. Researchers are listening to large waves crashing loudly upon the seashore, whereas spacetime is continually brimming with tiny ripples. Imagine a symphony where high-pitched sections blare at crescendos, while bass sections play the fundamental progressions throughout.

The interplay of gravitational waves in the universe is similar to a symphony played by nature. Researchers have been eavesdropping upon the crescendos, while a persistent buzz forms the basis of this cosmic melody. These waves are generated by supermassive black hole binary pairs orbiting around each other for millions of years during their courses of collision. The primary hindrance in their detection is the vast ocean of interstellar medium lying in between. The InPTA data is critical for charting this interstellar ‘weather’ and paving the way to the discovery in near future.

Congratulating the researchers, Professor Kamal K Pant, Director, IIT Roorkee, said, “I congratulate our very own IIT Roorkee researchers and the InPTA team for their achievement. I am glad that IIT Roorkee is a part of this global effort using world-class facilities like the uGMRT.”