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Astron. Astrophys. 359, 242-250 (2000)

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Gravitation wave emission from radio pulsars revisited

T. Regimbau and J.A. de Freitas Pacheco

Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, B.P. 4229, 06304 Nice Cedex 4, France (regimbau,pacheco@obs-nice.fr)

Received 3 February 2000 / Accepted 26 April 2000


We report a new pulsar population synthesis based on Monte Carlo techniques, aiming to estimate the contribution of galactic radio pulsars to the continuous gravitational wave emission. Assuming that the rotation periods of pulsars at birth have a Gaussian distribution, we find that the average initial period is 290 ms. The number of objects with periods equal to or less than 0.4 s, and therefore capable of being detected by an interferometric gravitational antenna like VIRGO, is of the order of 5100-7800. With integration times lasting between 2 and 3 yr, our simulations suggest that about two detections should be possible, if the mean equatorial ellipticity of the pulsars is [FORMULA] =10-6. A mean ellipticity an order of magnitude higher increases the expected number of detections to 12-18, whereas for [FORMULA], no detections are expected.

Key words: gravitational waves – stars: pulsars: general

Send offprint requests to: T. Regimbau

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: June 30, 2000