Author Interview with Huanchen Hu
Author of the book: "Gravity Tests with Pulsars: Using New-Generation Radio Telescopes"
1. Please introduce yourself. What would you like your reader to know about you?
I just finished my PhD in astrophysics and this book is my PhD dissertation. I am currently a postdoc researcher in pulsar astronomy, working on testing gravity in strong fields and detecting nanohertz gravitational waves using pulsar timing arrays.
2. What is your inspiration/motivation for writing?
Pulsars are rotating neutron stars with a mass heavier than the Sun in a sphere about 20 km in diameter. These stars contain the densest form of matter that hunmans can study. The remarkable rotational stability of pulsars not only gives the opportunity to study the properties of dense matter, but also enables precise gravity tests using binary pulsars and detecting nanohertz gravitational waves using pulsar timing arrays. Exploring these questions is exciting, and it has inspired the research in this book.
3. How long did it take to complete your research from the idea to the book?
It took a total of four years to carry out the research presented in the book. The drafting itself took about a year.
4. What's the main message and idea of "Gravity Tests with Pulsars: Using New-Generation Radio Telescopes"?
Even though general relativity (GR) has passed all experimental tests, from Solar System and binary pulsars, to gravitational waves and cosmology, it is incomplete for descibing quantum phenomena and the dark sector of our universe. Testing gravity with high precision pulsar timing might eventually show a hint of a discrepency to GR and allow us to probe new physics. This is a main focus of this book. Besides, following the success of ground-based gravitational wave detector such as LIGO and Virgo, the pulsar timing array is now approaching the precision of detecting the gravitational wave background at nanohertz regime, and the second focus of this book is to improve the accuracy required for such experiments.
5. What was the most unexpected conclusion you came up with while preparing "Gravity Tests with Pulsars: Using New-Generation Radio Telescopes"?
We are entering a new era of sensitive telescopes, which includes the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope in China, the MeerKAT telescope in South Africa, and the upcoming Square Kilometre Array. All these new-generation radio telescopes bring the precision of pulsar timing to an unprecedented level, so the data have to be carefully processed in order to avoid systematic errors. The accuracy of clock could be another limiting factor for pulsar timing, especially for gravitational wave searches, and this needs to be treated with care.
6. How would you describe your publishing experience with Eliva Press in a few words?
The publishing process with Eliva Press is smooth and easy. The editor Simion Doloscan guided me through the whole process and it took just two weeks to get it published. I am very happy with this experience.
Purchase Author's book here: Amazon