M.H. van Kerkwijk
J. van Leeuwen
- A Massive Pulsar in a Compact Relativistic Binary
- Volume | Issue number
- 340 | 6131
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API)
Many physically motivated extensions to general relativity (GR) predict substantial deviations in the properties of spacetime surrounding massive neutron stars. We report the measurement of a 2.01 ± 0.04 solar mass (M☉) pulsar in a 2.46-hour orbit with a 0.172 ± 0.003 M☉ 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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