Report

Relativistic Spin Precession in the Double Pulsar

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  04 Jul 2008:
Vol. 321, Issue 5885, pp. 104-107
DOI: 10.1126/science.1159295

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Abstract

The double pulsar PSR J0737–3039A/B consists of two neutron stars in a highly relativistic orbit that displays a roughly 30-second eclipse when pulsar A passes behind pulsar B. Describing this eclipse of pulsar A as due to absorption occurring in the magnetosphere of pulsar B, we successfully used a simple geometric model to characterize the observed changing eclipse morphology and to measure the relativistic precession of pulsar B's spin axis around the total orbital angular momentum. This provides a test of general relativity and alternative theories of gravity in the strong-field regime. Our measured relativistic spin precession rate of Embedded Image per year (68% confidence level) is consistent with that predicted by general relativity within an uncertainty of 13%.

View Full Text