Abstract There are two ways of expressing the precession of orbital plane of a binary pulsar system, given by Barker & O'Connell, Apostolatos et al. and Kidder, respectively. We point out that these two ways actually come from the same Lagrangian under different degrees of freedom. Damour & Schäfer and Wex & Kopeikin applied Barker & O'Connell's orbital precession velocity in pulsar timing measurement. This paper applies Apostolatos et al.'s and Kidder's orbital precession velocity. We show that Damour & Schäfer's treatment corresponds to negligible Spin-Orbit induced precession of periastron, while Wex & Kopeikin and this paper both found significant (but not equivalent) effects. The observational data of two typical binary pulsars, PSR J2051–0827 and PSR J1713+0747, apparently support a significant Spin-Orbit coupling effect. Specific binary pulsars with orbital plane nearly edge on could discriminate between Wex & Kopeikin and this paper: if the orbital period derivative of the double-pulsar system PSRs J0737–3039 A and B, with orbital inclination angle i = 87.7−29+17 deg, is much larger than that of the gravitational radiation induced one, then the expression in this paper is supported, otherwise Wex & Kopeikin's is supported.
Keywords pulsars: binary pulsars - geodetic precession: individual (PSR J2051-0827, PSR J1713+0747, PSRs J0737-3039 A and B)
It accepts original submissions from all over the world and is internationally published and distributed by IOP