A Massive-born Neutron Star with a Massive White Dwarf Companion

Abstract : We report on the results of a 4-year timing campaign of PSR J2222−0137, a 2.44-day binary pulsar with a massive white dwarf (WD) companion, with the Nançay, Effelsberg and Lovell radio telescopes. Using the Shapiro delay for this system, we find a pulsar mass m p = 1.76 ± 0.06 M and a WD mass m c = 1.293 ± 0.025 M. We also measure the rate of advance of periastron for this system, which is marginally consistent with the GR prediction for these masses. The short lifetime of the massive WD progenitor star led to a rapid X-ray binary phase with little (< 10 −2 M) mass accretion onto the neutron star (NS); hence, the current pulsar mass is, within uncertainties, its birth mass, which is the largest measured to date. We discuss the discrepancy with previous mass measurements for this system; we conclude that the measurements presented here are likely to be more accurate. Finally, we highlight the usefulness of this system for testing alternative theories of gravity by tightly constraining the presence of dipolar radiation. This is of particular importance for certain aspects of strong-field gravity, like spontaneous scalarization, since the mass of PSR J2222−0137 puts that system into a poorly tested parameter range.
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Ismaël Cognard, Paulo Freire, Lucas Guillemot, Gilles Theureau, Thomas Tauris, et al.. A Massive-born Neutron Star with a Massive White Dwarf Companion. The Astrophysical Journal, American Astronomical Society, 2017, 844 (2), 13 p. ⟨10.3847/1538-4357/aa7bee⟩. ⟨insu-01670513⟩

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