IIT-H researchers find ULF gravitational waves

The cutting-edge National Supercomputing Mission facility, Param Seva, installed at IIT-H, played a vital role in enabling these remarkable findings.
For representational purposes
For representational purposes

HYDERABAD:  A team of researchers from IIT Hyderabad (IIT-H) has made a breakthrough by providing evidence for ultra-low frequency (ULF) gravitational waves. This groundbreaking discovery was made as part of the Indian Pulsar Timing Array (InPTA) consortium. The gravitational waves are believed to originate from a multitude of colossal black hole pairs, each exceeding a million times the mass of the Sun engaged in an intricate cosmic dance.

The results of the study have been published in the prestigious Astronomy and Astrophysics journal. The research involved an extensive analysis of pulsar data collected over a span of 25 years, utilising six of the world’s largest radio telescopes, including India’s very own uGMRT, the largest telescope in the country. The cutting-edge National Supercomputing Mission facility, Param Seva, installed at IIT-H, played a vital role in enabling these remarkable findings.

The IIT-H research team behind this momentous discovery comprises Dr Shantanu Desai from the Department of Physics and the Department of AI, Aman Srivastava, a PhD student in Physics, Divyansh Kharbanda (2023 BTech graduate in Engineering Physics), and Swetha Arumugam (a BTech senior in EE Dept). Additionally, Pragna Mamdipaka, another BTech student in EE, is actively contributing to the ongoing efforts of InPTA.

The significance of this result and IIT-H’s invaluable contribution was highlighted by Prof BS Murty, director of IIT-H, who expressed his elation at the involvement of students from both the Physics and Electrical Engineering streams in this historic discovery. “This achievement also underscores the power of collaboration in attaining scientific benchmarking results,” he added.

The InPTA experiment involved researchers from various institutions, including NCRA (Pune), TIFR (Mumbai), IIT (Roorkee), IISER (Bhopal), IIT (Hyderabad), IMSc (Chennai), and RRI (Bengaluru), along with colleagues from Kumamoto University, Japan. The combined data set from IPTA is expected to yield increased sensitivity, enabling scientists to place constraints on the Gravitational Wave Background (GWB) and gain insights into various other phenomena that occurred during the universe’s infancy, when it was just a few seconds old, potentially producing gravitational waves at these extremely long wavelengths.

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