EU Regional School - Champion Seminar
Dr. Champion - Computational Challenges in Pulsar Astronomy
Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Bonn
Pulsars are the remnants of massive stars following a supernova explosion. Their extreme density (equivalent to that of the atomic nucleus) and rapid rotation (up to 716 Hz) make them stable clocks that can rival the atomic time standard. By finding and timing these pulsars we can probe many different areas of physics and astrophysics - general relativity, the equation of state, stellar evolution, and the Galactic magnetic field to name but a few.
Advances in computing technology have a direct impact at almost every step of this process - from observing at the telescope, to searching the data for pulsars, and then using these pulsars for scientific research. With the design of the Square Kilometre Array telescope underway the importance of computer science to this community will only increase.
In these lectures I will present an overview of pulsar research highlighting the computational challenges that face pulsar astronomy.