Into Darkness: the seek for pulsars in the Galactic Centre

Pulsars are highly-magnetized rotating neutron stars that emit beams of electromagnetic emission. They are unique astronomical laboratories, not only because they are the most magnetized, densest, directly-observable objects in the Universe, but also because they act as extremely precise clocks located all over the Galaxy. The variety of science enabled by pulsars is very broad, from, e.g., limits on the Equation-of-State of super dense matter to plasma emission physics, tests of gravity theories or the detection of Gravitational Waves. In this seminar, I will start giving a general overview of pulsars and highlighting some pulsar science. Then, I will focus on one particular object: the magnetar SGR J1745-2900 discovered in 2013 very close to SgrA*, the supermassive black hole (SMBH) candidate in the Milky Way's Centre. A pulsar orbiting SgrA* could be used to test General Relativity and alternative theories of gravity to unprecedented precision. Although, unfortunately, SGR J1745-2900 does not give the profile to perform these gravity tests, it can tell us much about the surroundings of SgrA*. To finalize, the challenges of pulsar searches in the Galactic Centre, what can we learn from this magnetar discovery, and current and future Galactic Centre pulsar surveys will be discussed.

17/06/2015 - 14:30
Pablo Torne
Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (Germany)