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L. Bildsten (UCSB)
Observations with the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer have found that many weakly magnetic accreting neutron stars rotate near 300 Hz. I had earlier conjectured that these neutron stars have reached an equilibrium state of balance where the accretion spin-up torque is matched by a spin-down torque from gravitational wave emission. The spin frequency similarities then arise because of the strong spin frequency dependence of the torque from quadrupolar gravitational wave emission. In addition to potentially explaining the puzzle of the remarkably similar spin frequencies, this conjecture predicts an interesting new class of gravitational wave sources for LIGO and other large-scale gravitational wave interferometers. In this talk, I will first overview the possible gravitational wave mechanisms (including r-modes) and then discuss the importance of future X-ray timing missions to the successful detection of gravitational waves.