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Einstein@Home discovers 24 new pulsars in archival data

The combined computing power of 200,000 private PCs helps astronomers take an inventory of the Milky Way. The Einstein@Home project connects home and office PCs of volunteers from around the world to a global supercomputer. Using this computer cloud, an international team lead by scientists from the Max Planck Institutes for Gravitational Physics and for Radio Astronomy analysed archival data from the CSIRO Parkes radio telescope in Australia. Using new search methods, the global computer network discovered 24 pulsars - extraordinary stellar remnants with extreme physical properties. These can be used as testbeds for Einstein's general theory of relativity and could help to complete our picture of the pulsar population.
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Title: Einstein@Home all-sky search for periodic gravitational waves in LIGO S5 data
Authors: J. Aasi, J. Abadie, B. P. Abbott, R. Abbott, T. D. Abbott, M. Abernathy, T. Accadia, F. Acernese, C. Adams, T. Adams, P. Addesso, R. Adhikari, C. Affeldt, M. Agathos, K. Agatsuma, P. Ajith, B. Allen, A. Allocca, E. Amador Ceron, D. Amariutei, S. B. Anderson, W. G. Anderson, K. Arai, M. C. Araya, S. Ast, S. M. Aston, P. Astone, D. Atkinson, P. Aufmuth, C. Aulbert, B. E. Aylott, S. Babak, P. Baker, G. Ballardin, S. Ballmer, Y. Bao, J. C. B. Barayoga, D. Barker, F. Barone, B. Barr, L. Barsotti, M. Barsuglia, M. A. Barton, I. Bartos, R. Bassiri, M. Bastarrika, A. Basti, J. Batch, J. Bauchrowitz, Th. S. Bauer, M. Bebronne, D. Beck, B. Behnke, M. Bejger, M.G. Beker, A. S. Bell, C. Bell, I. Belopolski, M. Benacquista, J. M. Berliner, A. Bertolini, J. Betzwieser, N. Beveridge, P. T. Beyersdorf, T. Bhadbade, et al. (734 additional authors not shown)

This paper presents results of an all-sky searches for periodic gravitational waves in the frequency range [50, 1190] Hz and with frequency derivative ranges of [-2 x 10^-9, 1.1 x 10^-10] Hz/s for the fifth LIGO science run (S5). The novelty of the search lies in the use of a non-coherent technique based on the Hough-transform to combine the information from coherent searches on timescales of about one day. Because these searches are very computationally intensive, they have been deployed on the Einstein@Home distributed computing project infrastructure. The search presented here is about a factor 3 more sensitive than the previous Einstein@Home search in early S5 LIGO data. The post-processing has left us with eight surviving candidates. We show that deeper follow-up studies rule each of them out. Hence, since no statistically significant gravitational wave signals have been detected, we report upper limits on the intrinsic gravitational wave amplitude h0. For example, in the 0.5 Hz-wide band at 152.5 Hz, we can exclude the presence of signals with h0 greater than 7.6 x 10^-25 with a 90% confidence level.

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