Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union

Contributed Papers

Binary pulsars and tests of general relativity

I. H. Stairsa1

a1 Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia, 6224 Agricultural Road, Vancouver, B. C., V6T 1Z1, Canada, and Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, Mail 39, P. O. Box 218, Hawthorn, Vic 3122, Australia email: stairs@astro.ubc.ca

Abstract

Binary pulsars are a valuable laboratory for gravitational experiments. Double-neutron-star systems such as the double pulsar provide the most stringent tests of strong-field gravity available to date, while pulsars with white-dwarf companions constrain departures from general relativity based on the difference in gravitational binding energies in the two stars. Future observations may open up entirely new tests of the predictions of general relativity.

Keywords

  • pulsars: general;
  • pulsars:individual (J0737-3039A/B);
  • gravitation

Footnotes

Note: This material is in part based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0843236. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.