Abstract The complete orbital and spin period evolutions of the double neutron star (NS) system PSR J0737–3039 are simulated from birth to coalescence, which include the two observed radio pulsars classified as primary NS PSR J0737–3039A and companion NS PSR J0737–3039B. By employing the characteristic age of PSR J0737–3039B to constrain the true age of the double pulsar system, the initial orbital period and initial binary separation are obtained as 2.89 h and \(1.44 \times 10^6\) km, respectively, and the coalescence age or the lifetime from the birth to merger of PSR J0737–3039 is obtained to be \(1.38 \times 10^8\) yr. At the last minute of coalescence, corresponding to the gravitational wave frequency changing from 20 Hz to 1180 Hz, we present the binary separation of PSR J0737–3039 to be from 442 km to 30 km, while the spin periods of PSR J0737–3039A and PSR J0737–3039B are 27.10 ms and 4.63 s, respectively. From the standard radio pulsar emission model, before the system merged, the primary NS could still be observed by a radio telescope, but the companion NS had crossed the death line in the pulsar magnetic-field versus period (B − P) diagram at which point it is usually considered to cease life as a pulsar. This is the first time that the whole life evolutionary simulation of the orbit and spin periods for a double NS system is presented, which provides useful information for observing a primary NS at the coalescence stage.
Keywords PSR J0737–3039 — double neutron star — pulsar — gravitational wave — simulation
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