Friday, April 26, 2013

1304.6875 (John Antoniadis et al.)

A Massive Pulsar in a Compact Relativistic Binary    [PDF]

John Antoniadis, Paulo C. C. Freire, Norbert Wex, Thomas M. Tauris, Ryan S. Lynch, Marten H. van Kerkwijk, Michael Kramer, Cees Bassa, Vik S. Dhillon, Thomas Driebe, Jason W. T. Hessels, Victoria M. Kaspi, Vladislav I. Kondratiev, Norbert Langer, Thomas R. Marsh, Maura A. McLaughlin, Timothy T. Pennucci, Scott M. Ransom, Ingrid H. Stairs, Joeri van Leeuwen, Joris P. W. Verbiest, David G. Whelan
Many physically motivated extensions to general relativity (GR) predict significant deviations in the properties of spacetime surrounding massive neutron stars. We report the measurement of a 2.01 +/- 0.04 solar mass pulsar in a 2.46-hr orbit with a 0.172 +/- 0.003 solar mass white dwarf. The high pulsar mass and the compact orbit make this system a sensitive laboratory of a previously untested strong-field gravity regime. Thus far, the observed orbital decay agrees with GR, supporting its validity even for the extreme conditions present in the system. The resulting constraints on deviations support the use of GR-based templates for ground-based gravitational wave detectors. Additionally, the system strengthens recent constraints on the properties of dense matter and provides insight to binary stellar astrophysics and pulsar recycling.
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