Projects per year
© 2016 American Physical Society. Recent nondetection of gravitational-wave backgrounds from pulsar timing arrays casts further uncertainty on the evolution of supermassive black hole binaries. We study the capabilities of current gravitational-wave observatories to detect individual binaries and demonstrate that, contrary to conventional wisdom, some are, in principle, detectable throughout the Universe. In particular, a binary with rest-frame mass 1010Ma can be detected by current timing arrays at arbitrarily high redshifts. The same claim will apply for less massive binaries with more sensitive future arrays. As a consequence, future searches for nanohertz gravitational waves could be expanded to target evolving high-redshift binaries. We calculate the maximum distance at which binaries can be observed with pulsar timing arrays and other detectors, properly accounting for redshift and using realistic binary waveforms.