Welcome to the EPTA website

The European Pulsar Timing Array is a multinational European collaboration of pulsar astronomers. Our aim is to increase the precision and quality of pulsar science results by combining the efforts and resources of the various member insititutions and telescopes.

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Our main focus concerns the direct detection of gravitational waves using pulsar timing. In order to do this, we are performing long-term timing observations and analysis on an array of pulsar systems scattered across the sky. The coalescence of primordial black holes – during galaxy mergers, for example – should form a stochastic background of gravitational waves permeating the Universe. The background at the Earth would have a common effect on the arrival times of pulses from pulsars distributed around the sky, detectable as a correlated signal in the timing residuals obtained from all the pulsars in the array.

The success of such an effort requires the achievement of two principal goals:

  • Timing pulsars with the highest possible precision.
  • Finding new pulsars for high-precision timing.

In pursuit of these goals, work is underway for the LEAP project. This will combine the signals from all the telescopes involved in our collaboration to provide a telescope area roughly equivalent to that of the illuminated Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico. LEAP, however, will be able to see more of the sky and to track objects for longer periods of time.

Click on the menu items at the top of the page to learn more about our collaboration and the people who contribute to it.

The first point of contact in the EPTA are the members of the Executive Committee: Gemma Janssen, Alberto Sesana, Joris Verbiest.