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  An Efficient Approximation to the Likelihood for Gravitational Wave Stochastic Background Detection Using Pulsar Timing Data

Ellis, J., Siemens, X., & van Haasteren, R. (2013). An Efficient Approximation to the Likelihood for Gravitational Wave Stochastic Background Detection Using Pulsar Timing Data. Astrophysical Journal, 769: 63. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/769/1/63.

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1302.1903 (Preprint), 633KB
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 Creators:
Ellis, Justin, Author
Siemens, Xavier, Author
van Haasteren, Rutger1, Author           
Affiliations:
1Observational Relativity and Cosmology, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society, ou_24011              

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Free keywords: Astrophysics, Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics, astro-ph.IM,Astrophysics, Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics, astro-ph.CO,General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology, gr-qc
 Abstract: Direct detection of gravitational waves by pulsar timing arrays will become feasible over the next few years. In the low frequency regime ($10^{-7}$ Hz -- $10^{-9}$ Hz), we expect that a superposition of gravitational waves from many sources will manifest itself as an isotropic stochastic gravitational wave background. Currently, a number of techniques exist to detect such a signal; however, many detection methods are computationally challenging. Here we introduce an approximation to the full likelihood function for a pulsar timing array that results in computational savings proportional to the square of the number of pulsars in the array. Through a series of simulations we show that the approximate likelihood function reproduces results obtained from the full likelihood function. We further show, both analytically and through simulations, that, on average, this approximate likelihood function gives unbiased parameter estimates for astrophysically realistic stochastic background amplitudes.

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 Dates: 2013-02-072013
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 10 pages, 3 figures
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: arXiv: 1302.1903
DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/769/1/63
 Degree: -

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Title: Astrophysical Journal
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Chicago, IL : University of Chicago Press for the American Astronomical Society
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 769 Sequence Number: 63 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 0004-637X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922828215_2